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By the same Author. 

Fcap. 8vo. 


TYTLER, ESQ. (2nd. Ed.) 1859. ClOWH 8vO. 

Inspiration anti Interpretation: 









xfortr Sr Honfcon : 


nfeb bg Hfrsars. Barker, Cornmarbt, 


E 12 






Let me have the satisfaction of inscribing this volume 
to yourself. I know of no one who has more faithfully 
devoted himself to the sacred cause of Christian Educa- 
tion : no one to whom those blessed Truths are more 
precious, which of late have been so unscrupulously as- 
sailed, and which the ensuing pages are humbly designed 
to uphold in their integrity. 

Affectionately yours, 




Ac si diceret : Ob hoc haereseon non statim divinitus eradicantur 
auctores, ut probati manifest! fiant ; id est, ut unusquisque quam 
tenax, et fidelis, et fixus Catholics fidei sit amator, appareat. Et 
revera cum quaBque no-vitas ebullit, statim cernitur frumentorum 
gravitas, et levitas palearum : tune sine magno molimine excutitur 
ab area, quod nullo pondere intra aream tenebatur. YINCENTIFS 
, Adversus ffcereses, 20. 


F AM unwilling that this volume should go forth to 
the world without some account of its origin and 
of its contents. 

I. Appointed last year, (without solicitation on his 
part,) to the office of Select Preacher, the present 
writer was called upon at the commencement of the 
October Term to address the University. His Sermon, 
(the first in the volume,) was simply intended to em- 
body the advice which he had already orally given 
to every Undergraduate who had sought counsel at 
his hands for many years past in Oxford; advice 
which, to say the truth, he was almost weary of re- 
peating. Nothing more weighty or more apposite, at 
all events, presented itself, for an introductory ad- 
dress : nor has a review of the current of religious 
opinion, either before or since, produced any change 
of opinion as to the importance of what was on that 
first occasion advocated. 

Another, and another, and yet another preaching 
turn unexpectedly presented itself, in the course of 
the same Term ; and the Ilnd, Illrd, and IVth of the 
ensuing Sermons, (preached on alternate Sundays,) 
were the result. The study of the Bible had been 
advocated in the first Sermon ; but it was urged from 
a hundred quarters that a considerable amount of un- 


belief prevailed respecting that very Book for which 
it was evident that the preacher claimed entire per- 
fection and absolute supremacy. The singular fallacy 
of these last days, that Natural Science, in some un- 
explained manner, has already demolished, or is in- 
evitably destined to demolish a , the Book of Divine 
Eevelation, appeared to be the fallacy which had 
emerged into most offensive prominence ; and to this, 
he accordingly addressed himself. It will not, surely, 
be thought by any one who reads the Ilnd of these 
Sermons that its author is so weak as to look with 
jealousy on the progress of Physical Science. His 
alarm does not arise from the cultivation of the noblest 
study but one, viz. the study of GOD'S Works ; but 
from the prevalent neglect of the noblest study of all, 
viz. the study of'Go&s Word. His quarrel is not 
with the Professors of Natural Science, but with those 
who are mere Pretenders to it. Moreover, he makes 
no secret of his displeasure at the undue importance 
which has of late been claimed for Natural Science; 
and which is sufficiently implied by the prevalent 
fashion of naming it without any distinguishing epi- 
thet, as " Science, " absolutely : just as if Theology 
were not a Science also b ! 

It is not necessary to speak particularly of the con- 
tents of the next two Sermons; except to say that 
the train of thought thus started conducted the author 
inevitably over ground which was already occupied 
in the public mind by a volume which had already 

a The reader is invited to refer to the passages cited in the present 
volume, at pp. Ixxxvii. and Ixxxviii. 

b See p. 47 to p. 50. Also Appendix (B.) 


obtained some notoriety, and which has since become 
altogether infamous. Enough of the contents of that 
unhappy production I had read to be convinced that 
in a literary, certainly in a Theological point of view, 
it was a most worthless performance ; and I recognized 
with equal sorrow and alarm that it was but the ma- 
tured expression of opinions which had been fostering 
for years in certain quarters : opinions which, occa- 
sionally, had been ventilated from the University 
pulpit ; or which had been deliberately advocated in 
print c ; and which it was now hinted were formidably 
maintained, and would be found hard to answer. As- 
tonished, (not by any means for the first time in my 
life,) at the apathy which seemed to prevail on ques- 
tions of such vital moment, I determined at all events 
not to be a party to a craven silence ; and denounced 
from the University pulpit with hearty indignation 
that whole system of unbelief, (if system it can be 
called,) which has been growing up for years among 
us d ; and which, I was and am convinced, must be 
openly met, not silently ignored until the mischief 

c In illustration of what is meant, may be particularized a highly 
objectionable Sermon which Dr. Temple preached before the Uni- 
versity some years ago, and which occasioned no small offence to 
many who heard it, as all in Oxford well remember. It was al- 
most as unsound as the same writer's Essay "On the Education 
of the World," which, to the best of my remembrance, it strongly 
resembled. A printed Sermon by Dr. Temple may also be referred 
to, " preached on Act-Sunday, July 1, 1860, before the University 
of Oxford, during the Meeting of the British Association," entitled 
" The present delations of Science to Religion." Professor Jowett's 
handling of the Doctrine of the Atonement, needs only to be re- 
ferred to. 

1 Page 80 to 82. 


becomes unmanageable : met, too, by building up 
men in THE TRUTH : above all, by giving Theological 
instruction to those who are destined to become Pro- 
fessors of Theological Science, and are about to under- 
take the cure of souls In this spirit, I asserted 

the opposite fundamental verities ; and so, would have 
been content to dismiss the " Essays and Ee views" 
from my thoughts for ever. 

But in the meantime, the respectability of the au- 
thors of that volume had attracted to their work an 
increasing share of notice. An able article in the 
1 Westminster Eeview ' first aroused public attention. 
A still abler in the ' Quarterly 7 awoke the Church to 
a sense of the enormity of the offence which had been 
committed. It was not that danger was apprehended. 
There could be but one opinion as to the essential im- 
potence of the attack. But the circumstances which 
aroused public indignation were twofold. First, 
Here was a conspiracy against the Faith. Seven 
Critics had avowedly combined "to illustrate the ad- 
vantage derivable to the cause of Religious and Moral 
Truth from a free handling, in a becoming spirit, of" 
what they were pleased to characterize as " subjects 
peculiarly liable to suffer by the repetition of con- 
ventional language, and from traditional modes of 
treatment e ." They prefixed to their joint labours the 
expression of a " hope that their volume would be re- 
ceived as an attempt "to do this. That their allusion 
was to the Creeds, Articles, Book of Common Prayer 
and Administration of the Sacraments, was obvious. 
Equally obvious was the ^-becoming spirit, the arro- 
6 "To the Reader," prefixed to Essays and Reviews. 


gance and the hostility, with which all those sacred 
things were handled by those seven writers. 

Secondly, "Essays and Beviews" attracted notice 
because six of its authors were Ministers of the Church 
of England. Here were six Clergymen openly making 
light of their sacred profession, and apparently worse 
than regardless of their Ordination vows. As an in- 
fidel but certainly in this instance most truthful as 
well as able Keviewer, remarked concerning the work 
in question, " In their ordinary, if not plain sense, 
there has been discarded the Word of GOD, the Crea- 
tion, the Fall, the Bedemption, Justification, Begene- 
ration, and Salvation, Miracles, Inspiration, Prophecy, 
Heaven and Hell, Eternal punishment and a Day of 
Judgment, Creeds, Liturgies, and Articles, the truth 
of Jewish History and of Gospel narrative; a sense 
of doubt thrown over even the Incarnation, the Besur- 
rection, and Ascension, the Divinity of the Second 
Person, and the personality of the Third. It may be 
that this is a true view of Christianity ; but we insist, 
in the name of common sense, that it is a new view. 
Surely it is waste of time to argue that it is agreeable 
to Scripture, and not contrary to the Canons M" 

f ' Keo- Christianity ' in the Westminster Review, No. 36. How 
true is what follows: "The Bible is one; and it is too late now 
to propose to divide it. We shall only point out that the moral 
value of the Gospel teaching becomes suspicious when the whole 
miraculous element is discarded. 

" We certainly do think that the Gospels assert a miraculous 
Incarnation, Resurrection, and Ascension ; and that the Epistles 
teach Original Sin, and a vicarious Sacrifice. If this be doubted 
by our authors, it is sufficient for us to say that such is the im- 
pression they have created on all ages of Christians." 

" We desire that if the Bible, or any part of it be retained as 


This twofold phenomenon, which has shocked the 
public conscience and perplexed common sense, has 
been the sole cause of the amount of attention " Essays 
and Keviews" has excited. Laymen might have com- 
bined to produce this volume, almost unheeded. An 
obscure Clergyman might possibly have published 
any one of these seven papers ; and with a rebuke for 
his immorality or his insolence, he would probably 
have been unnoticed by the world. But here is a 
combination of Doctors of Divinity; Professors; Tel- 
Holy Writ, it be defended as a miraculous gift to Man, and not 
by distorting the principles of modern Science. Let the Essayists 
be assured that there exists no middle course; that there is no 
Inspiration more than is natural, yet not supernatural ; no Theology 
which can abandon its doctrines and retain its authority" 

Lastly, with what sickening and almost Satanic power, does the 
same writer invite the Essayists and Eeviewers to make shipwreck 
of their souls in the following terrible passage. And yet, who sees 
not that on their principles absolute and professed unbelief is in- 
evitable ? He says : " How long shall this last ? Until men have 
the courage to bury their dead convictions out of sight, and the 
greater courage to form new. All honour to these writers for the 
boldness with which they have, at great risk, urged their opinions. 
Eut what is wanted is strength not merely to face the world, but 
to face ones own conclusions. We know the cost. It must be 
endured. Let each who has thought and felt for himself, ask him- 
self first what he does not believe, and then, if wise or needful, 
avow it. Next let him ask himself what he does believe, and 
pursue it to its true and full conclusions. Neither loose accommo- 
dation nor sonorous principles will long give them rest. It is of 
as little use to surrender the more glaring contradictions of Science 
as it is to evaporate discredited doctrine into a few vague precepts. 
That end will not be attained by our authors by subliming Religion 
into an emotion, and making an armistice with Science. It will 
not be obtained by any unreal adaptation; nor by this, which is, 
of all recent adaptations, at once the most able, the most earnest, 
and the most suicidal" 


lows, nay Heads of Colleges ; Instructors of England's 
Youth; Teachers of Eeligion; Chaplains to Koyal 
and noble personages ! 

The Jesuitical notice prefixed to the book, (depre- 
cating the idea that its authors should be held re- 
sponsible, except severally for their several articles,) 
completed the scandal. As if seven men, each armed 
with his own appropriate weapon of violence, breaking 
into a house, and spreading ruin around them, could 
"readily be understood," (to quote their own lan- 
guage,) to incur each a limited responsibility ! 

Charity doubtless would have rejoiced to spread her 
mantle over any one or more of the number, "who, 
on seeing the extravagantly vicious manner in which 
some of his associates had performed their part, had 
openly declared his disgust and abhorrence of such 
unfaithfulness, and had withdrawn his name g ," with 
some expression of sorrow for the irreparable mischief 
which he had actively helped to occasion. But long 
before nine editions of " Essays and Reviews" had 
appeared, it became apparent that each of the living 
authors, (for one, alas, has already gone to his ac- 
count !) has made himself responsible for the whole 
work h . Nay, there are some of the number who 

* The Bishop of Exeter to Dr. Temple. 

h The Bishop of Manchester exactly expressed the general opinion, 
when he said, " Nor will I for a single moment, however my per- 
sonal feelings might interfere, conceal my deliberate conviction that 
every partner in that work is equally guilty." (Guardian, Ap. 
10, 1861, p. 341.) But the most faithful language of all came 
from the Bishop of Exeter in his crushing reply to an inquiry put 
to him by Dr. Temple. " I avow that I hold every one of the 
seven persons acting together for such an object to be alike re- 


make no secret of their satisfaction at what has hap- 
pened; and seem desirous only that their volume 
should obtain a yet wider circulation 1 . 

" Essays and Ee views," as already stated, with the 
turn of the year, experienced a vast increase of noto- 
riety. The entire Bench of Bishops condemned the 
book ; and both Houses of Convocation endorsed the 
Episcopal censure. A very careful perusal of the 
volume became necessary; and it proved to be in- 
finitely weaker in point of ability, infinitely more 
fatal in point of intention, than could have been sus- 
pected from the known respectability and position of 
its authors. A clamour also arose for a Eeply to 
these Seven Champions, not exactly of Christendom. 

sponsible for the several acts of every individual among them in 
executing their avowed common purpose." 

1 A letter from Dr. Rowland Williams, which has appeared in 
the newspapers, contains the following language with reference to 
the American reprint of " Essays and Reviews :" " I confess my- 
self personally gratified that my own work, and that of my far 
more distinguished coadjutors, with whom it is sufficient honour 
for me to be included in the same volume, should have obtained 
the honour of a reprint in another hemisphere. Still more would 
I hail the circumstance as an auspicious token of the sympathy 
which should prevail between kindred nations, as regards subjects 
of the highest import, and as a sign of the prospects of Christian 
freedom beyond the Atlantic 

" I have not yet discovered any community or individual possessing 
the right to cast the first stone at those who interpret the Bible in 
freedom, and who subordinate its letter to its spirit, or its parts to 
its whole. Even if Holy Scripture were, as is popularly fancied, 
the foundation, and not, as I believe, the expression and the 
memorial, of Religious Truth in man, it would be absurd to ren- 
der it honours essentially different from those which it claims 
for itself, or to make it a master, where it claims only to be 
a servant." 


" You condemn : but why do you not reply ?" be- 
came quite a popular form of reproach. 

It was useless to urge, in private, such considera- 
tions as the following : To reply to a volume of 433 
pages, each of which contains a fallacy or a falsity, 
while some pages are packed full of both, is a serious 
undertaking. Besides, the book has been replied to 
already ; for there is scarcely an objection urged 
within its pages which was not better urged, and 
effectually disposed of, in the last century. Nay, 
every good Eeview of " Essays and Ee views" has 
ansivered the book : for what signify the details, if the 
fundamental lie has been detected, and unrelentingly 
exposed ? The man who plants his heel on the ser- 
pent's head, and refuses to withdraw it, can afford to 
disregard the tortuous writhings of the long supple 
body. Again. These attacks are seven. Must seven 
men with " concert and comparison," with leisure and 
inclination too, be procured to demolish this flimsy 
compound of dogmatism and unbelief? to disperse 
these cloudy doubts, and to analyse and repel these 
many ambiguous statements ? Once more. A fool 
can assert, and in a moment, that ' There is no GOD. J 
But it requires a wise man to refute the lie ; and his 
refutation will probably demand a volume. I say, 
it was in vain to urge such considerations as these. 
"Why does no one reply to these 'Essays and Ee- 
views ?' " was asked, till, I apprehend, pens enough 
have been unsheathed to do the work effectually. 

It struck me, in the meantime, that I should be 
employing myself not unprofitably at such a juncture, 
if (laying aside all other work for a month or two) 


I were to attempt a short reply to the volume in ques- 
tion, myself; and to combine it with the publication 
of the Sermons I had already preached ; and which 
I had the comfort of learning had not only been 
favourably received by some of those who heard them, 
but had attracted some slight notice outside the 
University also. Accordingly, with not a little re- 
luctancej in the month of February I began. The 
Destructive part of the argument, I determined to ad- 
dress to the younger members of my own College, 
men with whom I live in daily intimacy, and on 
terms of private friendship ; and whom, above all, 
I desired to protect against the influence of that 
"moral poison," (as the Bishop of Exeter describes 
it,) of which the world has lately heard so much. 
The Constructive part of the argument, I resolved to 
complete as opportunities might oifer, in my Sermons. 
One such opportunity presented itself early in Lent ; 
of which I availed myself to establish some funda- 
mental truths relative to the Interpretation of Holy 
Writ k . By favour of the Vice Chancellor, the pro- 
mise of yet another preaching turn was obtained. It 
appeared best to avail myself of the opportunity to 
consider the chief objections which have been brought 
against the Bible from the marvellous character of 
some of its contents *. An University Sermon preached 
exactly ten years ago, (on the Doctrine of Accommoda- 
tion,) supplied an important link in the argument. . . . 
Thus the unscientific shape in which the present 
volume appears, is explained ; and its want of exact 
method is accounted for. Let me add, that but for 
k Serm. Y. See Sermon VII. 


the forward state of what I like to regard as the 
Constructive part of the present volume, (and which 
I am not without a humble hope will secure for the 
rest a more than ephemeral interest,) I should have 
been slow indeed to undertake the distasteful task 
of answering a work of which I have long since 
been heartily weary. 

II. And now, for a few words on the general ques- 
tion which has called out these " Sermons" and " Pre- 
liminary Remarks." 

At the root of the whole mischief of these last days 
lies disbelief in the Bible as the Word of GOD. This 
is the fundamental error. Dangerous enough is it 
to the moral and intellectual nature of Man, when 
the authority of the Church is doubted: or rather, 
this is the first downward step. Not to believe that 
CHRIST bequeathed to His Church a Divine form of 
polity : not to believe that He set officers over His 
Kingdom, of which He is Himself the sole invisible 
Head : not to believe that He invested His Apostles 
with authority to delegate to others the Commission 
He had Himself conveyed to them; and that, by 
virtue of such transmitted powers, the Church has 
authority in the Ministration of GOD'S Word and 
Sacraments: not to believe that He vouchsafed to 
His Church extraordinary guidance at the first, and 
that He vouchsafes to His Church effectual guidance 
still : an utter want of faith in the Church and her 
Ordinances, is the first step, I repeat, in a soul's 
downward progress. 

Next comes an impatience of Creeds. It has been 
falsely asserted by an Essayist and Reviewer that 


" Constantine inaugurated the principle of doctrinal 
limitation" 1 ;" by which is meant that definitions of 
Faith date from the Council of Mcsea, A.D. 325 : the 
truth being that the famous (Ecumenical Council 
which was then held did but rule the consubstantiality 
of the SON with the FATHER : whereas elaborate -Creeds 
exist of a far earlier date ; as all are aware. Creeds 
indeed are coeval with Christianity itself 11 . "What 
need to add that when the decree of the first (Ecume- 
nical Council concerning the true faith in the adorable 
Trinity has been set at nought, all other decisions of 
the Church are disregarded also ? 

That marvellous concrete fact, the Bible, has next 
to be encountered. Unmethodical as it seems to be, 
the Bible arrests a man in his impatient course with 
many a significant History, many an unmanageable 
precept. Much of its contents, it is true, are of such 
a nature that they may be glossed over, explained 
away, -ignored, set aside. The reading is doubtful : 
or there are two opinions, (perhaps twenty,) concern- 
ing it : or the language may be figurative : or the 
words are not to be pressed too closely : or a perverse 
logic may pretend to find in it agreeable confirmation, 
instead of stern reproof. Not a few places there are, 
however, which defy any such handling; stubborn 
rocks which refuse to yield a single trace of the 
wished-for vegetation, in return for the most deter- 
mined husbandry. Nothing of the kind ever will or 
can be made to germinate upon them. They are 
absolutely unmanageable, and hopelessly in the way 
of the man who is determined to cast off restraint, 

m Essays and Reviews, p. 166. n See p. clxxvii. to p. clxxxiii. 


whether spiritual, intellectual, or moral. He is for 
being lawless ; or at least, without law : but the Bible 
is unmistakably an external Law, and is opposed to 
him. The Bible is his enemy, and the Bible claims 
to be Divine. . . . What need to state that to deny the 
Inspiration of the Bible, and to undermine its autho- 
rity, and to explain away its statements, becomes the 
next object of the unbeliever? It is precisely at this 
stage of his downward progress that public attention 
is excited, and public indignation aroused. The 
Church, (like its Divine Author,) may be outraged, 
and few will be found to remonstrate. The Creeds 
may be assailed, (especially " one unhappy Creed !"), 
and it is hinted that these are speculative matters, on 
which none should pronounce too dogmatically. But 
(thank GOD !) Englishmen yet love their Bible ; and 
Common Sense is able to see that an uninspired Bible 
is no Bible at all. At the assault upon the Bible, 
therefore, as I said, an indignant outcry is raised, 
as now. 

Systematically to cope with such irreverence, such 
entire ignorance rather of all the questions at issue, 
from the pulpit, would be clearly impracticable. Men 
require to be taught "which be the first principles." 
They require to be educated in Divinity. And thus 
we come back to the fontal source of all the mischief 
of our own Day. "We, in Oxford, give no systematic 
training to our Candidates for Holy Orders. We do 
not even attempt it. Nay, incredible to relate, we do 
not give them any training at all. And the fatal con- 
sequences of this omission are to be seen on every 
side. A youth no sooner gets through " the Schools," 


and graduates in Arts, than he inquires for a Curacy. 
During the three months, perhaps six, of interval, he 
makes himself sufficiently acquainted with the Alpha- 
bet of Divinity to enable him to satisfy the very 
modest requirements of the Bishop's examination; 
after which he finds himself at once actively engaged 
in the Bishopric of souls and the profession of Theo- 
logy. It is probable that the realities of the Minis- 
terial calling, and the eminently practical nature of 
such an one's daily life, will keep this man from error. 
Not so his more, shall I say, or less? fortunate 
fellow-student ; who, by hard self-relying labour, 
having obtained distinction in the Schools, finds him- 
self in the enjoyment of a fellowship, and straightway 
engages in the work of tuition. This man, whose 
fellowship is his " title" for orders, studies Divinity, 
or neglects it, at pleasure : and if he studies it, he 
studies it in his own way. He has read a little of 
heathen Ethics with great care; or he has trained 
himself to the exactness of mathematical inference. 
With the purest idiom of ancient Greece he has also 
made himself very familiar. He is besides a Master 
of Arts. What need to add that such an one is not 
therefore a Master of Divinity? possesses no qualifi- 
cation which authorizes him to dogmatize about any 
one department of Theological Science ? 

The plain truth is, (and it is really better to speak 
plainly,) the plain truth is, that the offensive Ser- 
mons one sometimes hears from the University pulpit, 
the offensive Essays and Eeviews which have lately 
occasioned so much public scandal, are the work of 
men who discuss that which they do not understand ; 


profess that which they were never, at any time of 
their life, taught. Their method of handling a text 
is altogether unique and extraordinary. Their re- 
marks concerning Divine things are even puerile. 
Their very citations of Scripture are incorrect. Their 
cool affectation of superiority of knowledge, their claim 
to intellectual power, would be laughable, were the 
subject less solemn and important. Speculations so 
feeble that they sound like the cries of an infant in 
the dark, are insinuated to be the sublime views of 
a bold and original thinker, who "has ly a Divine help 
been enabled to plant his foot somewhere beyond the waves 
of Time /" Doubts so badly expressed that they read 
like the confused utterance of one in his sleep, claim 
to be regarded as the legacy of one who is about to 
"depart hence before the natural term, worn out with 
intellectual toil /" ... In a word, Men who have 
never been taught and trained, but have grown up in 
a miserable self-evolved system of their own, (with 
a little of Hegel, and a. little of Schleiermacher, and 
a little of Strauss,) cannot but trouble the peace of 
the Church. They deny her authority. (They are 
not aware of her claims.) They cavil at her Creeds. 
(They are not acquainted with their history.) They 
doubt the authenticity of the very Bible. (They know 
wondrous little about it.) How did the Bible attain 
its actual shape? They cannot tell. How has it 
been guarded? They are careless to inquire. How 
does it come to us as 'the Bible,' the Book of all 
books ? It is best not to discuss a question which 
must infallibly bring forward the Church as " a wit- 
Mr. Jowett in Essays and Reviews, p. 433. 


ness and a keeper of Holy Writ p ." Men are even 
impatient to publish their private prejudice that it is 
to be interpreted like any other book ; that it is in- 
spired in no other sense than Sophocles and Plato. 
" The principle of private judgment," (it is said,) 
" puts Conscience between us and the Bible, making 
Conscience the supreme interpreter^" "Hence," it is 
said, " we use the Bible, some consciously, some un- 
consciously, not to override, but to evoke the voice 
of Conscience." (p. 44.) " The Book of this Law," 
(as Hooker phrases it,) is dethroned; and Man usurps 
the vacant seat, and becomes a Law unto himself! 
GOD Himself is dethroned, in effect; and Man be- 
comes his own god. 

To cope systematically with all this from the Uni- 
versity pulpit, as already remarked, is plainly impos- 
sible. The preacher must take up the question at 
some definite stage, and arrest the false teachers there. 
" That wicked," or rather " THE LAWLESS ONE," 
(o cu/o/toy, as he is called in 2 Thess. ii. 8,) must be 
bound, hand and foot, somewhere in his career of law- 
lessness ; and in these Sermons the threshold of the 
Bible has been chosen as the place for the conflict. 
My life for his life. I will slay or be slain on the 
very portal of Holy Scripture. With the young, you 
begin at the beginning, "the Creed, the LORD'S 
Prayer, the Ten Commandments ;" and they must be 
further instructed in the Church Catechism. But the 
foundation cannot be laid afresh with the full-grown. 
It is idle to talk about the authority of the Church to 
men who do not believe in the Bible. It is useless 
p Article XX, Essays and Reviews, p. 45. 


to dispute about Creeds with men who know nothing 
of the origin and history of Christianity. Eeserving 
the true method of teaching for those who alone are 
capable of being taught, we are constrained to argue 
with men of full age about the inspiration and Inter- 
pretation of the Bible. If in the ensuing Sermons the 
principles handled are so very elementary, it is because 
the available limits were so very narrow, while the 
field over which Unbelief has spread itself, is so 
very broad. 

III. When a few words have been added concern- 
ing the manner in which I have executed my task, 
this Preface shall be brought to a close. If the style 
of the present SERMONS, considering the auditory, 
and above all considering the subject, shall be 
thought by competent judgesjiot sufficiently dignified 
in parts, I will bow to their decision without remon- 
strance. Everybody can divine the defence which 
would be set up; but perhaps it may not be quite 
a valid defence. A man feels strongly and warmly ; 
writes fast and freely; is determined to be clearly 
understood : is weary of the dignified conventionalities 
under which Scepticism loves to conceal itself when it 
comes abroad. Perhaps some expressions which may 
be permitted in delivery, ought to be remodelled when 
a Sermon is sent to the press. 

But with regard to the ensuing PRELIMINARY RE- 
MARKS, I shall not so easily be persuaded to think 
that I am mistaken as to the style in which Essayists 
and Ee viewers are to be dealt with r . Some respect- 

* It should perhaps be stated that the edition of " Essays and 
Reviews" which I have employed is the Third (1860.) 


able persons, I doubt not, will think my treatment of 
them harsh and uncharitable. I invite them to con- 
sider that we do not expect blasphemy from Ministers 
of the Gospel,' irreligion from the teachers of you/th, 
infidelity from the Professor's chair: nor are we 
called upon to tolerate it either. I have the mis- 
fortune to concur entirely with the verdict pronounced 
by the Bishop of Exeter on the subject of i Essays 
and Ee views. 7 Let those who feel little jealousy for 
GOD'S honour measure out in grains their censure of a 
volume, the confessed tendency of which is to sap the 
foundation of Faith, and to introduce irreligion with 
a flood-tide. Such shall not, at all events, be my 
method. Private regard, if it is to weigh largely with 
him who stands up for GOD'S Truth, should first have 
weighed a little with those by whom it has been most 
grievously outraged. It may suit these Authors to 
wrap up their shameful meaning in a cloud of words ; 
but their Eeviewer avails himself of that Christian 
liberty to which they themselves so systematically lay 
claim, mercilessly to uncover their baseness, and un- 
compromisingly to denounce it. If I may declare my 
mind freely, punctilious courtesy in dealing with such 
opinions, becomes a species of treason against Him 
after whose Name we are called, and whom we profess 
to serve. Seven men may combine to handle the 
things of GOD, it seems, in the most outrageous man- 
ner; while themselves are to be the objects of con- 
sideration, tenderness, respect! I cannot see their 
title to any consideration at all. 

It will be found, it is hoped, that when these writers 
have the courage to descend to argument, there I have 


gladly met them on their own ground, and sought to 
refute them : but to reason is no part of their plan. 
Unsupported dicta on every subject on which they 
treat: doubts promiscuously insinuated, but never 
once openly and honestly maintained: cool assump- 
tions of intellectual superiority for themselves and 
their infidel allies : contemptuous allusions to the 
names which the respectable part of mankind agrees 
to hold in honour: foul imputations against the 
honesty of the Clergy : this is all their method ! The 
favourite cant of these writers is, that no one should 
shrink from free discussion, or fear the results of 
Criticism. Why then do not they themselves criti- 
cize? "Why do not they reason? Charity herself 
after weighing these Essays carefully has no alter- 
native but to assume that the Authors either have not 
the courage, or that they lack the ability, to descend 
to a free discussion, and risk all on a stand-up fight. 
A kind of guerilla warfare : half a dozen arrows, and 
a hasty retreat : such is their mode of attack ! But 
this method, though it may occasion annoyance, is 
quite unworthy of an honest inquirer, and never can 
be decisive of anything. It is the cowardly expedient 
of men who shrink from scrutiny, and dread exposure. 
Nothing so easy, for example, as to repeat the old 
commonplace about " irreconcileable discrepancies" in 
the " Synoptical Gospels :" but why, instead^ are we 
not told, which these irreconcileable discrepancies are? 
For my own part, I freely renew in this place the 
challenge I gave in my Illrd Sermon 8 . Let any one 
of these Gentlemen publicly and definitely lay his 

pp. 72-3. 


finger on one or more of these contradictory state- 
ments in the Gospels, during term-time ; and within 
a week I hereby undertake publicly to refute him in 
the Divinity School of this University : and our peers 
shall be our judges. 

Gentlemen who come abroad in the fashion above 
described, have no right to complain if they encounter 
rough usage on the road. When Critics are clamorous 
for the " free handling" of Divine Truth, they must 
not be surprised to find themselves freely handled too. 
If free discussion is to be the order of the day, then 
let there be free discussion of " Essays and Ee views," 
as well as o/' THE BIBLE. Six Clergymen of the Church 
of England who enter upon a crusade against the Faith 
of the Church of England must not be astonished if 
they are looked upon in the light of immoral cha- 
racters, and treated as such. Accordingly, I have 
handled them just as freely as they have handled the 
Prophets, Apostles, and Evangelists of CHRIST. 

I cannot therefore pretend to offer anything in ex- 
tenuation of the style in which I have examined the 
statements of these Essayists and Ee viewers. Per- 
fectly sensible as I am of the gracefulness of highly 
courteous language in controversial writing, I will not 
so far violate my own conviction of what is right as to 
bandy compliments on such an occasion as this. This 
is no literary misunderstanding, or I could have been 
amicable enough: no private or personal matter, or 
I could have flung it from me with unconcern. No 
other than an attempt to destroy Man's dearest hopes, 
is this infamous book : no other than an insult, the 


grossest imaginable, offered to the Majesty of Heaven ; 
an attack, the more foul because it is so insidious, 
against the Everlasting Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. In 
such a cause I will not so far give in to the smooth 
fashion of a supple and indifferent age, as to pay these 
seven writers a single compliment which they will 
care to accept. The most foolish composition of the 
seven is Dr. Temple's ; the most mischievous is Pro- 
fessor Jowett's : but the germ of the last Essay is con- 
tained in the first ; the foolishness of the first Essay is 
abundantly shared by the last : while the evidence of 
correspondence of sentiment between the two writers 
is unmistakable. The most unphilosophical Essay, 
(where all are unphilosophical,) is Professor Powell's : 
the most insolent, Dr. Williams' : the most immoral, 
Mr. Wilson's : the most shallow, Mr. Goodwin's ; the 
most irrelevant, Mr. Pattison's. Not one of these 
writers shews himself capable of recognizing the true 
logical result of his own opinions : of drawing from 
his own premisses their one inevitable issue. Not one 
of them has had the manliness to speak out, and to say 
plainly what he means. They seem to deny the 
Divinity of CHRIST, and the Personality of the HOLY 
GHOST : but how reluctant is a reader to believe that 
they really mean it ! Quite inevitable is it that these 
clerical critics must choose between two alternatives. 
Either they hold opinions which make it impossible 
that they should retain Orders in the Church of Eng- 
land, and yet be honest men ; or they have expressed 
themselves with such culpable inaccuracy and am- 
biguity, as shews that they are altogether incompetent 
to handle the Science of Theology. Gladly would one 


give them the benefit of a third alternative : but I 
see not that any remains. 

If it should be thought strange that one thinking 
so meanly of ' Essays and Reviews,' should have pro- 
duced a yet larger volume in reply to them, it must 
suffice to point out that the refutation of a fallacy 
is almost of necessity the ampler writing. Or again, 
if it be remarked that by far the largest part of what 
I have written is directed against the hundred pages 
of Professor Jowett, the explanation is still obvious. 
Tor not only does that concluding Essay of his bring 
to a terribly practical issue the speculative doubts and 
difficulties which had been started by all his pre- 
decessors; (namely, doubts as to (1) the relation in 
which the Bible stands to Man; (2) the nature 
of Prophecy ; (3) the reality of Miracles ; (4) the 
worth of Creeds and formularies ; (5) the authenti- 
city of Genesis ; (6) the basis on which Eevelation is 
by the Church of England supposed to rest;) by 
proposing that we should henceforth regard the Bible 
as a book no otherwise inspired than Sophocles and Plato : 
not only does Professor Jowett's essay discharge 
this fatal office ; but his style is somewhat peculiar ; 
and what he says, cannot always be effectually dis- 
posed of by a few words. Let me explain. 

There is a certain form of fallacy of statement in 
which this Gentleman's writings abound, which calls 
aloud for notice and signal reprobation. He has a 
marvellous aptitude, (one would fain hope through 
some intellectual infirmity,) of connecting together in 
the same sentence two or three clauses ; one or two 
of which shall be true as Heaven, while the other 


is false as Hell. The reply to such a sentence is im- 
possible, without many words, far more than Mr. 
Jowett's sentences commonly deserve. Sometimes he 
strings together several heads of thought; of which 
enumeration the kindest thing which can be said is 
that it betrays an utter want of intellectual perspective. 
To unravel even a part of this tangled web so as to 
expose its argumentative worthlessness, soon fills a 

page But there is another kind of fallacy which 

the same gentleman wields with immense effect, and 
in the use of which he is a great master; which, 
because it was absolutely impossible to handle it fitly 
in the proper place, shall be briefly adverted to, here. 
I proceed to describe it not without indignation ; for 
I am profoundly struck by the intellectual perversity, 
not to say the moral obliquity, which has so entirely 
made this vile instrument its own. 

The fallacy then is of this nature. When Pro- 
fessor Jowett would put forth something especially 
deserving of reprehension, some sentiment or opinion 
which he either knows, or ought to know, that the 
whole Church will resent with unqualified abhorrence, 
he assumes a plaintive manner, and puts himself 
into an interesting attitude ; sometimes even folds his 
hands, as if in prayer. He then begins by (1) throwing 
out a remark of real beauty, and so conciliating for 
himself an indulgent hearing ; or (2) he goes off on 
some Moral question, and so defeats attention ; or (3) 
he delivers himself of some undeniable truth, and so 
disarms censure ; or (4) he says something of an en- 
tirely equivocal kind, and so leaves his reader at fault. 
Candour, of course, gives him the benefit of the doubt. 


It is not till the sentence is well advanced, or till it is 
examined by the fatal light of its context, that one is 
shewn what the ambiguous writer really was intending. 
A cloven foot appears at last; but it is instantly 
withdrawn, with a shuffle ; and you experience a 
scowl or a sneer, as the case may be, for your extreme 
unkindness in inquiring whether it was not a cloven 
foot you saw? .... Meanwhile, the learned Professor 
has gone off in alia omnia, with a look of earnestness 
which challenges respect, and a vagueness of diction 
which at once discourages pursuit and defeats inquiry. 
The fish invariably ends by disappearing in a cloud 
of his own ink. 

It shall suffice to have said thus much. These 
pages must now be suffered to go forth ; not without 
a hearty aspiration that a blessing may attend them 
from Him sine Quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum ; 
and that what was intended for the strength and help 
of those who want helping and strengthening, (I am 
thinking particularly of what has been offered on the 
subject of Inspiration,) may not prove misleading or 
perplexing to any. 

Oriel, June 24th, 1861. 



PREFACE. I. Some account of the present Volume. 

II. Growth of irreligious Opinion. 
III. ' Essayists and Reviewers ' to he as ' freely-handled' 
as the Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles of 



I. Examination of the contribution of Rev. F. Temple, D.D. ii 
II. . . . Rev. Rowland Williams, D.D. . xxx 

III. . . . Rev. Professor Baden Powell, M.A. xlvi 
IV. . Rev. H. B. Wilson, M.A. . . Ixiv 
V. . . C. W. Goodwin, M.A. . . . Ixxxvi 
VI. . . Rev. Mark Pattison, B.D. . . cxii 
VII. . . . Rev. Professor Jowett, M.A. . . cxxxix 
In what sense Mr. Jowett's fundamental principle, (that 
" Scripture is to be interpreted like any other book,") 
may be cheerfully accepted ..... cxl 

Mr. Jowett's main assertion that " Scripture has one 
and only one true meaning," shewn to he founded 
on his assumption that the Bible is iminspired, 
" like any other hook " cxlii 

1. Eight Characteristics of the Bible enumerated, which 

shew that it is unlike " any other book " . cl 

But the distinctive characteristic of the Bible, is, that 

it prof esses to be the work of the HOLT GHOST . clx 

Mr. Jowett's syllogism corrected, in consequence . . clxii 

2. Mr. Jowett's proposal accepted, that we should " In- 
terpret Scripture from itself." Notion of Interpre- 
tation obtained from the volume of Inspiration . clxii 

3. In addition to the testimony of Scripture, we have 

to consider the testimony of Antiquity . . . clxix 
Remarks on primitive Patristic Interpretation . . clxx 
This part of the subject misunderstood by Mr. Jowett . clxxiii 

xxxii CONTENTS. 


Remarks on primitive Tradition. The Creeds, the 

records of Primitive Christianity .... clxxvii 
This part of the subject also misunderstood by Mr. Jowett clxxix 
4. Examination of some of Mr. Jowett' s reasons for 
rejecting that method of Interpretation which has 
been (a) Established by our LORD ; (/3) Employed by 
His Apostles ; (y) Universally adopted by the primi- 
tive Church ; and (8) Accepted by the most learned 
and judicious of modern Commentators . . . clxxxvi 
The peroration of Mr. Jowett's Essay examined and 

commented on . . . , . . ccvi 

Retrospect of the entire subject ..... ccxvi 
Conclusion . . . . . , . . ccxxvii 


ST. JOHN vi. 68. LORD, to whom shall we go ? Thou hast the words 
of Eternal Life. 



The Gospel, as a written message, meets with the same re- 
ception at the hands of the World now, as in the days of the 

Son of Man 1 

Some points of analogy between the Written and the Incar- 
nate WORD . . . . . . . . . 2 

Difficulties and seeming contradictions in the Gospel . . 3 
Unattractive aspect. Union of the Human and Divine . . 4 
The Bible is generally little read. Its preciousness . . 6 
The age unlearned as well as unfaithful . . . . 7 

Want of preparation for the Ministry. The question of pre- 
paration narrowed to the duty of studying the Bible . . 8 
Conditions of successful Study : a fixed time for reading the 
Bible, and a fixed quantity to be read .... 9 

Yigilance, and independent inquiry . . . . .10 

Consecutive reading. The first chapter of Genesis . . .11 
Nothing to be skipped. Result of such a method . . .12 
The Bible is to be read, not in the same manner, but with at 

least the same attention, as a merely human work . .13 
A caution ...... 14 

Men not competent to make their own Religion out of the Bible 16 
The advantages of such a study of the Bible as has been here 
recommended, explained . 17 



HEBBEWS xi. 3. Through Faith, we understand that the worlds were 
framed by the Word of GOD. 



Special act of Faith assigned to ourselves in Hebrews xi. . 23 
The first Chapter of Genesis considered : Verse 1 . .24 

Province of Geology .... . .26 

The Work of the First Day . . . .28 

Second and the Third Day . . . .29 

Fourth and the Fifth Day .... 30 

Sixth Day 31 

The Mosaic History of the Creation true . . . .33 

Objections considered . . . . . . . .34 

Speech ascribed to, GOD ....... 35 

Adam's knowledge . .36 

The first pair. The days of Creation real days . .37 

Objections of pretenders to Natural Science . . . .39 

The plea that the Bible is not a scientific book . . .40 
The historical truth of the Bible insisted upon . . .44 
Natural Science not undervalued . . . . . .46 

The term " Science " not to be opposed to " Theology " . .47 
Theology the Queen of Sciences . . . . .48 

2 TIM. iii. 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of GOD. 





The meaning of 2 Tim. iii. 16. . . .... 53 

St. Paul nowhere disclaims Inspiration . . . . 54 

Holy Scripture is attributed in Scripture to the HOLY GHOST . 56 

Forms of unbelief concerning Inspiration . . . 57 

Impertinence of the modern way of speaking of the Evangelists 60 

Supposed inaccuracies, slips of memory, misstatements . . 61 

The Gospels not four but One 62 

A principle laid down for the reconcilement of all Gospel 

difficulties .-63 


xxxiv CONTENTS. 


Illustration from a supposed case of testimony . . 64 

Computation of the hours in St. John's Gospel . 66 

The accounts of the blind man restored to sight at Jericho, 

harmonized ..... 67 
Characteristics of an Inspired narrative . . .68 

The mention of "Jeremy the prophet," and of Cyrenius, 

considered . . .. . - . 70 
Faultlessness of the Gospel .... .72 

Absurdity of the common allegations against it . .73 

The absolute Infallibility of Scripture maintained . 74 

Every syllable of Holy Scripture inspired . . . .75 
The nature of Inspiration illustrated . . . . .76 
Theology, the noblest of the Sciences . . . . . 79 
Insubordination in these last days of Physical Science . . 80 
The infidel spirit of the Age, protested against . . . 81 
Theological Science can never be called upon to give way 

before Physical Science 83 

Kelations of Morals to Theology 84 

Conscience and the Moral Sense have been informed afresh 

by Revelation ... 87 

ST. JOHN xvii. 17. Thy Word is Truth. 





Cavils against the Bible . . . . . . .92 

Absolute infallibility of every < jot' and every ' tittle' of Holy 

Scripture 94 

The popular view of Inspiration stated . . . .95 

No middle state between Inspiration and non-inspiration . 96 

The popular theory applied and tested 96 

A different view of the nature and office of Inspiration stated 100 
Inspiration still the same, however diverse the subject-matter 102 

What is meant by ' a Prophet' 104 

The message still GOD'S, whatever its nature may be . .106 
Note of Inspiration in the Historical Books of the Bible . 108 

The Title on the Cross 109 

Remonstrance . 110 



Theories of Inspiration to be rejected . . . < .115 

Remarks on the nature of Inspiration 116 

Proof that men generally hold that the words of Scripture are 

inspired . . . . . . . . . .117 

Absolute irrelevancy of objections drawn from the state of the 

Text of Scripture 118 

The Substance of Scripture inseparable from the Form . . 1 20 
Antichristian spirit of the age . . . . . .121 

The Study of Scripture in a childlike spirit recommended . 122 



A favourite view of Inspiration stated . . . . .126 

Vagueness of this theory . . . . . . .127 

The theory practically tested, and found unmanageable . 128 

Further examination of the theory . . . . .132 

Our SAVIOUR'S reasoning as difficult as that of St. Paul . . 134 


ST. MATTHEW iv. 4. It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but 
by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD. 





Interpretation described . . . . . . .140 

Three sources of Interpretation compared . . . ,141 
Eusebius on "the Captain of the LORD'S Host" . . . 143 
The principle must be ascertained, on which Inspiration is 

to be conducted ........ 144 

How this is to be done . . . . . . . 145 

This question may not be needlessly encumbered with difficulties 147 
The HOLY SPIRIT'S method of Interpretation must be the 

true method ......... 148 

Specimens of Inspired Interpretation . . . .149 

The very narrative of Scripture mysterious . . . .152 

Divine exposition of the history of Melchizedek . . .152 
Further proofs of the mysterious texture of Holy Scripture . 156 
Moses wrote concerning CHRIST . . . . . .157 



Two propositions established by the foregoing inquiry : (1) 
That the Bible is not to be interpreted like any other book : 
(2) That the meaning of Scripture is not always only one . 160 
Scripture to be interpreted literally . . . . .160 

The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife remarked upon . 162 
The Bible is the Word of GOD . . . . . .163 

Bishop Butler on Inspiration . . . . . .165 

Unbelief remonstrated with from the analogy of Nature and 

of Providence 168 

How the inspired writers may be supposed to have understood 

what they delivered 171 

The question of Interpretation not be argued on a priori grounds 1 73 
Interpretation would be hopeless, but that the fountain of 
Inspiration is one . . . . . . . .174 

An apology for these Sermons . . . . . .177 

Exhortation to transmit the Faith . . . . .180 


ROMANS x. 6 9. But the Righteousness which is of Faith speaJceth on this 
wise, f Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven T (that 
is, to bring CHRIST doivn from above :) or, ' Who shall descend into the 
deep T (that is, to bring up CHRIST again from the dead.} But what 
saith it ? ' The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thine 
heart :' that is, the word of Faith, which we preach ; that if thou shalt 
confess with thy mouth the LORD JESUS, and shalt believe in thine heart 
that GOD hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 



Many insidious methods of denying the Inspiration of Scripture 1 84 
The most subtle method of all, characterized . . .185 
The term " Accommodation" not in itself objectionable . .187 
Arbitrary Accommodation explained . . . . .188 

Reasons for rejecting this theory . . . . . .189 

Learned research proves that the theory is gratuitous . .190 
St. Paul's exposition of a passage in Deuteronomy xxx, (Rom. 

x. 6 to 9,) proposed for examination . . . . .191 

License of Inspired quotation . . . . . .194 

How the phenomenon is to be regarded . . . .195 

St. Paul's exposition examined by the light of unassisted 

Reason .... 198 



Shewn not to be an instance of arbitrary Accommodation, but 
of genuine Interpretation . . . . . .211 

The success or failure of such inquiries, unimportant . .212 
No " Accommodation' ' when an inspired writer quotes Scripture 213 
Remarks on Inspired Reasoning . . . . . .215 


ST. MARK xii. 24. Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the 
Scriptures; neither the power of GOD. 




Sadduceeism of the day 221 

The Moral and Physical Marvels of Scripture proposed for 
consideration ......... 222 

Moral Marvels : Jael. How her story is to be read . . 223 
History of Jael. Her conduct explained and defended . . 224 
Jacob, the Canaanites, Abraham, David . . . 230 
Physical Marvels : The greatest of those in the Old Testa- 
ment are witnessed to in the New . . . . .232 

Design of the quotations in Holy Scripture . . . .234 

Dr. Arnold and the Book of Daniel 235 

Miracles are not to be called violations, &c. of Nature . .237 
Law in relation to GOD ....... 238 

An objectionable Theory of Miracles exposed , . . 239 

Eishop Butler on Miracles . 240 

Miracles may be pared down, but cannot be explained away . 242 
" Ideology " applied to the explanation of Miracles . . 243 

Ideology explained and exposed 245 

The Resurrection of CUEIST the foundation- truth of Christianity 248 

False and true Charity * 250 

A parting Exhortation . . . . . . .252 



A Bishop Horsley on the double sense of Prophecy . .257 
B Bishop Pearson on Theological Science .... 258 
C The Bible an instrument of Man's probation . . . 260 
D St. Stephen's statement in Acts vii. 15, 16, explained . 261 



E The simplest view of Inspiration the truest and the best . 265 
F The written and the Incarnate Word . . . .267 
G The volume of the Old Testament Scriptures, indivisible . 268 
I Remarks on Theories of Inspiration. The ' Human Element" 269 
J How the Inspired Authors of the New Testament handle 

the writings of the Inspired Authors of the Old . .271 
K Bishop Bull on Deuteronomy xxx. . . ^ .273 
L Opinions of commentators concerning Accommodation . 277 






IV/TY Friends, I have determined to address to 
yourselves the present remarks; their subject, 
a volume which has recently obtained such a degree 
of notoriety that it is almost superfluous even to 
specify it by name. 

With unfeigned reluctance do I mix myself up in 
this strife ; but the course of events, when I first took 
up my pen, left me almost without an alternative. 
Far more reluctant should I be to seem to make your- 
selves the arbiters of Theological controversy. But in 
truth nothing is further from my present intention. 
As a plain matter of fact, you are called upon weekly, 
at St. Mary's, to listen to Sermons which indicate 
plainly enough the troubled state of the religious 
atmosphere ; and which, of late, (too frequently alas !) 
have inevitably assumed a controversial aspect. The 
Sermons here published, (which form the constructive 
part of the present volume,) were preached expressly 
with an eye to your advantage, and were intended 
to warn you against (what I deemed) a very serious 


danger. It is only natural therefore that I should de- 
sire to address to yourselves the present remarks like- 
wise. You are, naturally, objects of special solicitude 
to myself in this place, you, with whom I live as 
among friends, and for not a few of whom I entertain 
a sincere affection. And in addressing you, I am not 
by any means inviting you to exercise your own theo- 
logical judgment ; for that would indeed be an absurd 
proceeding. I am simply seeking to instruct you, and 
to guide you with mine. 

The case of " Essays and Ee views" is, in fact, 
altogether exceptional, whether the respectability of 
its authors, the wickedness of its contents, or the 
reception which it has met with, is considered. That 
volume embodies the infidel spirit of the present day. 
Turn where you will, you encounter some criticism 
upon it. No advertizing column but contains repeated 
mention of its name. To ignore so flagrant a scandal 
to the Church, is quite impossible. I have thought 
it better, therefore, to encounter the danger in this 
straightforward way; and I proceed, without further 
preamble, to remark briefly on each of the Seven 
" Essays and Ee views," in order. 

I. The feeblest essay in the volume is the first. It is 
not without grave concern that I transcribe the name 
of its amiable, and (in every relation of private life) 
truly excellent author, " FREDERICK TEMPLE, D.D., 
Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen ; Head Master of 
Eugby School; Chaplain to the Earl of Denbigh." 
Under the imposing title of "THE EDUCATION OF THE 
WORLD," we are presented with a worthless allegory, 
which has all the faults of a schoolboy's theme, (in- 
correct grammar included;) and not one of the ex- 
cellencies which ought to characterize the product of 


a ripened understanding, the work of a Doctor of 
Divinity in the English Church a , 

Dr. Temple's opening speculations are at once un- 
intelligible, irrelevant, and untrue. But they are 
immaterial ; and serve only to lug in, (not to intro- 
duce,) the assumption that the " power, whereby the 
present ever gathers into itself the results of the past, 
transforms the human race into a colossal man whose 
life reaches from the Creation to the day of Judg- 
ment. The successive generations of men are days 
in this man's life. The discoveries and inventions 
which characterize the different epochs of the world's 
history are his works. The creeds and doctrines, the 
opinions and principles of the successive ages, are his 
thoughts." [Alas, that the Creeds and Doctrines 
of the Church should be spoken of by a Professor 
of Divinity as the " thoughts " of men !] " The state 
of society at different times are (sic) his manners. 

I abstain from enumerating Dr. Temple's mistakes, for such 
things do not belong to the essence of a composition. And yet 
I must remark that it is hardly creditable in a Doctor of Divinity 
to write as he does. " In all (!) the doctrinal disputes of the fourth 
and fifth centuries, the decisive voice came from Rome. Every 
controversy was finally settled by her opinion, because she alone 
possessed the art of framing formulas" &c. (p. 16.) Would the 
learned writer favour us with a single warrant for this assertion ? 
... At p. 9, Dr. Temple mistakes for Mean's, words spoken 700 
years before by Balaam. At p. 10, he says that " Prayer, as 
a regular and necessary part of worship, first appears in the later 
books of the Old Testament." His account of the papacy is con- 
tained in the following words : " Law was the lesson which Rome 
was intended to teach the world. Hence (?) the Bishop of Rome 
soon became the Head of the Church. Rome was in fact the centre 
of the traditions which had once governed the world; and their 
spirit still remained; and the Roman Church developed into the 
papacy simply because a head was wanted (!), and no better one 
could be found." p. 16. At p. 10 we have a truly puerile mis- 
conception of the meaning of 1 Cor. xv. 56, &c., &c. 




He grows in knowledge, in self-control, in visible 
size, just as we do. And his education is in the same 
way and for the same reason precisely similar to ours. 
All this is no figure, but only a compendious state- 
ment of a very comprehensive fact." (p. 3.) " We 
may then," (he repeats,) " rightly speak of a childhood, 
a youth, and a manhood of the world." (p. 4.) And the 
process of this development of the colossal man, " cor- 
responds, stage by stage, with the process by which 
the infant is trained for youth, and the youth for 
manhood. This training has three stages. In child- 
hood, we are subject to positive rules which we can- 
not understand, but are bound implicitly to obey. In 
youth we are subject to the influence of example, and 
soon break loose from all rules, unless illustrated and 
enforced by the higher teaching which example im- 
parts. In manhood we are comparatively free from 
external restraints, and if we are to learn, must be our 
own instructors. First comes the Law, then the Son 
of Man, then the Gift of the Spirit. The world was 
once a child under tutors and governors until the time 
appointed by the Father. Then, when the fit season 
had arrived, the Example to which all ages should 
turn was sent to teach men what they ought to be. 
Then the human race was left to itself, to be guided 
by the teaching of the Spirit within." (p. 5.) So very 
weak an analogy, (where everything is assumed, and 
nothing proved,) singular to relate, is drawn out into 
distressing tenuity through no less than 49 pages. 

The ANSWER to all this is sufficiently obvious, as 
well as sufficiently damaging; and need not be de- 
layed for a minute. 

That the Human Eace has made considerable pro- 
gress in Knowledge, from first to last, is a mere 


truism. That, in the civilized world, one generation 
is the heir of the generations which went before it, is 
what no one requires to be told. Thus the discovery 
of the compass, of printing, and of the steam-engine, 
have been epochs in human knowledge from which 
a start was made by all civilized nations, without re- 
trogression. But such facts supply no warrant for 
transforming the whole Human Eace into one Colossal 
Man ; do not constitute any reason whatever why the 
6000 years of recorded time should be divided into 
three periods corresponding with the Infancy, Boy- 
hood, and Manhood of an Individual. 

To this theory, however, Dr. Temple even ostenta- 
tiously commits himself. It is the purpose of his 
entire Essay, to establish the fanciful analogy already 
indicated, which is proclaimed to be " no figure" but 
a "fact." (p. 3.) But an educated man of ordinary 
intelligence, on reaching p. 7, (where the writer first 
discloses his view,) summons the known facts of His- 
tory to his recollection; and before he proceeds any 
further, reasons with himself somewhat as follows : 

The Human Eace had inhabited the Earth's surface 
for upwards of sixteen hundred years, when it was 
destroyed by the waters of the Flood. After that, 
the descendants of Noah peopled the earth's surface ; 
a transaction of which the sole authentic record is, to 
be found in the xth chapter of the Book of Genesis. 
Egypt first emerged into importance, as history and 
monuments conspire to prove ; having had a peculiar 
language and literature, Arts and Sciences, anterior to 
the period of the Exodus, viz. B.C. 1491. Meanwhile, 
the chart of History directs our attention to four great 
Empires : the Assyrian Empire, which was swallowed 
up by the Persian ; and the Persian, which was merged 


in the Grecian Empire. The Eoman Empire came last. 
[How Laiv can be considered to be the characteristic 
of all or any x part of this period, I am at a loss to 
discover. Neither do I see any indication of puling 
Infancy here.] These four great Empires of the world 
had run their course when our SAVIOUR CHRIST 
was born. GOD sent His own Eternal SON into 
the world; and lo, a change passed over the whole 
fabric of the world's polity. The old forms of social 
life became, as it were, dissolved; or rather, a new 
spirit had been breathed into them all. A new era 
had commenced ; and a new principle henceforth 
animated mankind. That peculiar system of Divine 
Laws which for 1500 years had separated the Hebrew 
race from all the nations of the earth, the Mosaic 
Law which had hitherto been the inheritance of a 
single family, isolated in Canaan, was explained and 
expanded by its Divine Author. The ancient pro- 
mises to Abraham and his posterity were declared in 
their application to be co-extensive with the whole race 
of Mankind by faith embracing them. Henceforth, 
the kingdoms of the world were proclaimed the king- 
doms of CHRIST, and Mankind became for the first time 
subject to a written LAW. The Laws of CHRIST'S King- 
dom, the doctrines of CHRIST'S Church, henceforth be- 
coine supreme. Thus, when a Christian Sovereign is 
crowned, the Bible is solemnly placed in his hands ; 
and it is required of him that he promise, on his oath, 
" to the utmost of his power, to maintain the Laws of 
GOD" " When you see this Orb set under this Cross," 
(says the Archbishop, on delivering those insignia of 
Eoyalty,) " remember that the whole World is subject 
to the power and empire of CHRIST our Eedeemer .... 
so that no man can reign happily, who .... directs 


not all his actions according to His Laws" . . . No 
further change in the order of things is anywhere in- 
timated. The Faith hath been a?ra, once and for 
ever, delivered to the Saints. Forsaken, it may be : 
by many, (alas !) it will be forsaken before the con- 
summation of all things : but it will not itself cease. 
Heaven and Earth -shall pass away; but CHRIST'S 
"Word, never. Not one jot nor one tittle of the Law 
shall fail. . . . Such, in brief outline, is the World's 
true history, past, present, future. Does it corre- 
spond with Dr. Temple's account ? That may be 
very soon seen. He calls the human race a Colossal 
Man ; and says that it passes through three stages, 
Infancy, Boyhood, Manhood : and that during those 
three stages, it is governed by three corresponding 
principles, Law, Example, Conscience. How does 
Dr. Temple establish the first ? 

The Jews, (he says,) were subject to Law from the 
period of the Exode to the coming of CHRIST. We 
listen to the statement of a familiar fact without sur- 
prise: but we are inclined to express some stronger 
feeling than surprise when we discover that this is the 
whole of the proof concerning the infancy of the Colossal 
Man ! Does this writer then mean to tell us that the 
Jews were all Mankind ? If they were not the Colossal 
Man, if, instead of being the whole Human Eace, 
they were one of the most inconsiderable and least 
known of the nations, an isolated family, in fact, in- 
habiting Canaan, what becomes of the analogy ? We 
really pause for an answer. . . . Such a theory might 
have been expected, and would have been excusable 
if it had proceeded from a Sunday-school-boy of fifteen, 
who had read the Bible indeed, but who was un- 
acquainted with any book besides ; and so, had jumped 


to the conclusion that the Jews were " the "World." 
But Dr. Temple is a Schoolmaster, and therefore must 
surely know better. If he is fanciful enough to re- 
gard Mankind as a Colossal Man; and unphiloso- 
phical enough to consider that History is capable of 
being divided into three periods, corresponding with 
Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood ; and forgetful enough 
of the facts of the case to assume that mankind was sub- 
ject to Law until the coming of CHRIST, thenceforward 
to be emancipated therefrom : yet Dr. Temple ought 
not to be so unreasonable as to pretend that Canaan 
was coextensive with the "World, the descendants of 
Abraham with the posterity of Noah ! This amiable 
writer is inexcusable for excluding from the corporate 
entity of the Human Eace the four great Empires of 
the world, (to say nothing of primaeval Egypt and 
mysterious India;) and for the sake of elaborating 
a worthless allegory, identifying the least of all people 
with the Colossal Man, who, (according to his own 
account of the matter,) represents the aggregate of 
all the nations. 

Once more. The Mosaic Law was not given till 
B.C. 1491. But the world was then upwards of 2500 
years old. Far more than one-third, therefore, of re- 
corded time had already elapsed. How does it happen 
that the theory under consideration gives no account 
of those 2500 years ; or rather, does not begin to be 
applicable, until they have rolled away? 

Other inconveniences await this silly speculation. 
Thus, the Colossal Man, (who was under Law from 
B.C. 1491 to the Christian sera,) proves to have been 
a marvellously precocious Infant. He wrote the Song 
of Moses in the year of his birth. Nay, he built pyra- 
mids, had a Literature, Arts, and Sciences, ages 


before he was lorn / . . . "While yet an infant, he sang 
with Homer, and carved with Phidias, and philo- 
sophized with Aristotle, as none have ever sung, or 
carved, or philosophized since. Times and fashions 
have altered, truly ; but these three men are still our 
Masters in Philosophy, in Sculpture, and in Song. 
Awkward fact, that the colossal Infant should have 
lisped in a tongue which for copiousness of diction, 
and subtlety of expression, absolutely remains to this 
hour without a rival in the world ! 

Again. At this writer's dogmatic bidding, we force 
ourselves to think of Mankind as a Colossal Man, who 
has already gone through three ages, Infancy, Boy- 
hood, and Manhood. Old Age is therefore to come next. 
When, (if it is a fair question,) may it be expected 
that the sad period of senile decrepitude will set in ? 
What proof, in the mean time, is there, (we venture 
to ask,) that this period of decay has not begun 
already? Or does Dr. Temple perhaps imagine that 
the world is moving in cycles, (to adopt the grotesque 
speculation of his own first pages); and that after 
having run through the curriculum of Infancy, Boy- 
hood, and Manhood, the Colossal Man, (escaping, for 
some unexplained reason, the penalty of Old Age,) 
is to grow young again, shake his rattle and cut 
his teeth afresh? There is a childish vivaciousness, 
a juvenile recklessness, a skittish impatience of re- 
straint, in this amiable author's speculations, which 
powerfully corroborate such a view of the case. 

" The Childhood of the World was over when our 
LORD appeared on earth," (p. 20.) says Dr. Temple. 
But when at last he is compelled to introduce to our 
notice his Colossal Child (p. 9, bottom.} now developed 
into a Colossal Youth, he is painfully sensible that the 


Law and the Prophets, (his schoolmasters,) (p. 8.) have 
not done their work quite so well as was to have been 
desired and expected. Some apology is necessary, 
(p. 13, bottom^) Two great results however he claims 
for their discipline : " a settled national belief in the 
unity and spirituality of GOD, and an acknowledge- 
ment of the paramount importance of chastity as a 
point of morals." (p. 11.) Not however that the Law 
or the Prophets had taught them even this. (p. 10, 
top.) " It was in the Captivity, far from the temple 
and the sacrifices of the temple, that the Jewish people 
first learned that the spiritual part of worship could 
be separated from the ceremonial ; and that of the two 
the spiritual was far the higher." (p. 10.) At Baby- 
lon also the Jews first distinctly learned the doctrine 
of the immortality of the soul. (p. 19.) The Law, to 
be sure, had emphatically said, " Hear, Israel, the 
LORD thy GOD is one GOD*." The prophets, to be 
sure, had protested, " Behold, to obey is better than 
sacrifice .' 7 The Law and the Prophets, to be sure, 
are full of intimations that " mercy and not sacrifice d " 
is acceptable to the GOD of Heaven, and that GOD'S 
Saints well understood the Doctrine 6 ; as well as that 
a belief in the soul's immortality was a part of the 
instruction of the Jewish people. But what is all this 
to one who has an allegory to establish ? . . . 

The facts of the case, in the meantime, sorely per- 
plex the truth-loving writer. " For it is undeniable 
that, in the time of our LORD, the Sadducees had lost 

b Deut. vi. 4. 

c 1 Sam. xv. 22, where see the places in the margin. 
d Hos. vi. 6, quoted by our LORD, St. Matth. ix. 13 : xii. 7. 
e Consider Ps. xxvi. 6: 1. 13, 14: li. 16, 17: cxvi. 15: cxix. 
108: cxli. 2, &c. 


all depth of spiritual feeling, whilst the Pharisees had 
succeeded in converting the Mosaic system into a 
mischievous idolatry of forms." (p. 10.) " In short, 
the Jewish nation had lost very much when John the 
Baptist came." (p. 11.) The hopelessly corrupt moral 
state of the youthful Colossus, described with such 
sickening force and power by the great Apostle in the 
first chapter of the Epistle to the Eomans, cannot 
have occurred to Dr. Temple's remembrance, for he 
says nothing about it. Certain withering denun- 
ciations of "a wicked and adulterous generation f ;" 
of " adulterers and adulteresses g ;" " serpents," a 
" generation of vipers," which should hardly " escape 
the damnation of Hell h ;" ought to have reached him 
with a reproachful echo ; but he is silent about them 
all. Still less would it have suited the amiable alle- 
gorizer to state that just midway in the educational 
process, his Colossal Youth, " as if" the sins of Samaria 
and of Sodom " were a very little thing," " was cor- 
rupted more than they in all his ways. As I live, saith 
the LORD GOD," (apostrophizing Dr. Temple's Colossal 
Youth, in allusion to his character and conduct in the 
middle of his infant career,) " Sodom thy sister hath not 
done as thou hast done : . . . neither hath Samaria com- 
mitted half thy sins ; but thou hast multiplied thine abo- 
minations more than they. . . . Bear thine own shame 
for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable 
than they. They are more righteous than thou 1 !" 
" Ah sinful nation, laden with iniquity, a seed of evil- 
doers, children that are corrupters ! . . . From the sole 

f St. Matth. xvi. 4: xii. 39. Compare St. Mark viii. 38. 

* St. James iv. 4. h St. Matth. xxiii. 33. 

1 Ezek. xvi. 4752. 



of the foot even unto the head," [these words, re- 
member, are addressed to the Colossal Infant just mid- 
way in his career ; and Heaven and Earth are called 
upon to give ear, " for the LORD hath spoken !" . . . 
From the sole to the crown,] " there is no soundness 
in it ; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores. 
. . . Your hands are full of blood k !" . . . About all this 
hideous retrospect of what was going on at school, 
Dr. Temple is silent. 

In like manner, the great fact that our EEDEEMER 
came to republish His own two primaeval ordinances, 
the spiritual observance of the Sabbath and the 
sanctity of Marriage, is quietly ignored. A youth 
utterly degraded by sensuality \ and blinded by un- 
belief m , is a terrible picture truly. Dr. Temple there- 
fore boldly gives the lie direct to History, sacred and 
profane ; and insists that " side by side with freedom 
from idolatry, there had grown up in the Jewish mind 
a chaster morality than was to he found elsewhere in the 
world:" (p. 12:) that "in chastity the Hebrews stood 
alone; and this virtue, which had grown up with 
them from their earliest days (!!!) was still in the 
vigour of fresh life when they were commissioned to give 
the Gospel to the nations" (p. 13.) 

k Is. i. 4, 6, 15. 

1 St. John viii. 9. " I cannot but speak my mind," (says Jose- 
phus, after taking a survey of the extreme wickedness of his coun- 
trymen, in connexion with the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem,) 
" and it is this : I suppose if the Romans had delayed to come 
against these sinners, either the earth would have swallowed them 
up ; or the city would have been swept away by another Flood ; or 
it would have been consumed, like a second Sodom, by fire from 

m S. John xii. 3840. " They have blinded their eyes," &c. (See 
the place in the LXX. :) sc. 6 \abs euros. 


Behold the Colossal Child therefore, now grown 
into a Colossal " Youth too old for discipline." (p. 
20, bottom.) "The tutors and governors have done 
their work ;" (p. 20 ;) and he is now to go through 
a distinct process of training. Three tutors are now 
brought in to give the finishing touches to the youth's 
education, and to inaugurate his new career. Eome, 
Greece, and Asia, which for some unexplained reason 
never become (according to Dr. Temple) any part of 
the Colossal Man at all, now come in ; " Eome to 
discipline the human will ; Greece, the reason and 
taste; Asia, the spiritual imagination." (p. 19.) The 
Law and the Prophets had disciplined the Colossal 
Child's conscience, with what success we have seen. 
At all events, Moses and Isaiah are for infants : we 
have passed the age for such helps as they could 
supply. In a word, " The childhood of the world 
was over when our LORD appeared on earth." (p. 20.) 
It was " just the meeting-point of the Child and the 
Man ; the brief interval which separates restraint 
from liberty." (p. 22.) "It was time that the second 
teacher of the Human Eace should begin his labours. 
The second teacher is EXAMPLE :" (p. 20 :) and " the 
period of youth in the history of the world, when the 
human race was, as it were, put under the teaching 
of example, corresponds, of course, to the meeting 
point of the Law and the Gospel. The second stage 
therefore in the education of man was the presence 
of our LORD upon earth." (p. 24.) 

Let not this stage of Dr. Temple's allegory suffer 
by being stated in any language besides his own. 
" The world" had been a Colossal Child for 1490 
years. It was to be a Youth for almost 100. " The 
whole period from the closing of the Old Testament 



to the close of the New was the period of the world's 
youth, the age of examples : and our LORD'S presence 
was not the only influence of that kind which has 
acted upon the human race. " Three companions were 
appointed by Providence to give their society to this 
creature whom GOD was educating, Greece, Eome, and 
the Early Church." (p. 26.) Behold then, our Blessed 
Eedeemer with His " three companions." (I repro- 
duce this blasphemous speculation with shame and 
sorrow.) What kind of Example He was, Dr. Temple 
omits to inform us. But Greece was "the brilliant 
social companion ;" Eome, " the bold and clever 
leader;" the Early Church was "the earnest, hea- 
venly-minded friend." (p. 26.) "We are warned there- 
fore against supposing that " our LORD'S presence was 
the only influence of that kind " (i.e. example,) appointed 
by Providence for the creature whom GOD was edu- 
cating. In a word : " The world was now grown old 
enough to be taught by seeing the lives of Saints, 
better than ty hearing the words of Prophets" (pp. 

We come now to the conclusion of the allegory; 
and Dr. Temple shall again speak for himself. " The 
age of reflection begins. From the storehouse of his 
youthful experience the Man begins to draw the prin- 
ciples of his life. The spirit or conscience comes to 
full strength and assumes the throne intended for him 
in the soul. As an accredited judge, invested with 
full powers, he sits in the tribunal of our inner king- 
dom, decides upon the past, and legislates upon the 
future without appeal except to himself. He decides 
not by what is beautiful, or noble, or soul- inspiring, 
but by what is right. Gradually he frames his code 
of laws, revising, adding, abrogating, as a wider and 


deeper experience gives him clearer light. He is the 
third great teacher and the last." (p. 31.) 

And now, it will reasonably be asked, May not 
the head-master of Eugby write a weak and foolish 
Essay on a subject which he evidently does not un- 
derstand, without incurring so much not only of public 
ridicule, but of public obloquy also ? If his own sixth- 
form boys do not laugh at him, need the Church feel 
aggrieved at what he has written ? Where is the spe- 
cial irreligion in all this ? 

I answer, The offence is of the very gravest cha- 
racter ; and in the course of what follows, it will ap- 
pear with sufficient plainness wherein it consists. For 
the moment, singly considered, it is my painful 
duty to condemn Dr. Temple's Essay on the following 

"Whereas the Church inculcates the paramount ne- 
cessity of an external authoritative Law to guide all 
her members; Creeds to define the foundation of 
their Faith, a Catechism to teach them the necessary 
elements of Christian Doctrine, the several forms of 
Prayer contained in the Prayer Book to instruct them 
further in Eeligion, as well as to prescribe their exact 
mode of worshipping ALMIGHTY GOD : whereas too 
the Church requires of her ministers subscription to 
Articles "for the avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, 
and for the establishing of Consent concerning true 
Eeligion;" above all, since all Christian men alike 
are taught to acknowledge the external guidance of 
the Divine Law itself contained in Holy Scripture, 
and every Minister of the Church of England is fur- 
ther called upon to admit the authority of that Divine 
Law as it is by the Church systematized, explained, up- 
held, enforced : notwithstanding all this, Dr. Temple, 


who has solemnly taken the vows of a minister of 
the Church of England, and writes after his name 
that he is Sacrce Theologice Professor, in his present 
Essay more than insinuates, he openly teaches that 
Man "draws the principles of his life" (not from Beve- 
lation, but) "from the storehouse of experience:" that 
we live in an age when " the spirit or conscience hav- 
ing come to full strength, assumes the throne intended 
for him in the soul." This " spirit or conscience " 
" legislates without appeal except to himself" "He is 
the third great teacher and the last." (p. 31.) The 
world, in the days of its youth, could not "walk by 
reason and conscience alone :" (p. 21 :) but it is not 
so with us, in these, the days of the world's manhood. 
" The spiritual power within us ... must be the right- 
ful monarch of our lives." (p. 14.) We, (he says,) 
"walk by reason and conscience alone" (p. 21.) 

Now this is none other than a deliberate dethroning 
of GOD; and a setting up of Self in His place. "A 
revelation speaking from without and not from within, 
is an external Law, and not a spirit," (p. 36,) says 
Dr. Temple. But I answer, A revelation speaking 
from within, and not from without, is no revelation at 
all. " The thought of building a tower high enough 
to escape GOD'S wrath, could enter into no man's 
dreams," (p. 7,) says Dr. Temple in the beginning of 
his Essay, in derision of the Old World. But he has 
carried out into act the very self-same thought, him- 
self; and his "dreams" occupy the foremost place 
in ' Essays and Eeviews.' He teaches, openly, that 
henceforth Man must learn by " obedience to the rules 
of his own mind." (p. 34.) He is express in declaring 
that "an external law" is for the age which is past, 
(pp. 34-5.) Ours is "an internal law;" "which bids 


us yield," not to the revealed Will of GOD, " but, 
to the majesty of truth and justice ; a law which is not 
imposed upon us ly another power, but ly our own en- 
lightened will." (p. 35.) In this, the last stage of the 
Colossal Man's progress, Dr. Temple gives him four 
avenues of learning : (1) Experience, (2) Beflection, 
(3) Mistakes, (4) Contradiction. By withholding from 
this enumeration the Revealed Will of GOD, and the 
known sanctions of the Divine Law, he thrusts out GOD 
from every part of his scheme ; denies that He is even 
one of the present teachers of the Human Eace, ex- 
plaining that the time has even gone by when CHRIST 
could teach by example 11 , "for the faculty of Faith 

n " Had the revelation of CHRIST been delayed till now, assuredly 
it would have been hard for us to recognize His Divinity. . . . We, 
of course, have in our turn counterbalancing advantages. (!) If 
we have lost that freshness of faith which would be the first (sic) to 
say to a poor carpenter, Thou art the CHRIST, the SON of the living 
GOD, yet we possess in the greater cultivation of our religious 
understanding, that which perhaps we ought not to be willing to 
give in exchange (!).... They had not the same clearness of under- 
standing as we ; the same recognition that it is GOD and not the 
Devil who rules the "World ; the same power of discrimination be- 
tween different kinds of truth. . . . Had our LORD come later, He 
would have come to mankind already beginning to stiffen into the 
fixedness of maturity. . . . The truth of His Divine Nature would 
not have been recognized." (pp. 24-5.) Is this meant for bitter 
satire on the age we live in ; or for disparagement of the Incarnate 
WORD ? . . . But in the face of such anticipations, the keenest satire 
of all is contained in the author's claim to a "religious under- 
standing, cultivated" to a degree unknown to the best ages of the 
Church; as well as to surpassing "clearness of understanding," 
and " powers of discrimination." Lamentable in any quarter, how 
deplorable is such conceit in one who shews himself unacquainted 
with the first principles of Theological Science ; and who puts forth 
an Essay on the Education of the World, which would have been 
discreditable to an advanced school-boy ! 



has turned inwards, and cannot now accept any outer 
manifestations of the truth of GOD ." (p. 24.) By this 
Essay, Dr. Temple comes forward as the open abettor 
of the most boundless scepticism. "Whether or no 
his statements be such as Ecclesiastical Courts take 
cognizance of, is to me a matter of profound unim- 
portance. In the estimation of the whole Church, it 
can be entitled to but one sentence. " We use the 
Bible," (he tells us,) "not to override, but to evoke 
the voice of conscience." (p. 44.) " The current is 
all one way, it evidently points to the identification 
of the Bible with the voice of conscience. The Bible, 
in fact, is hindered by its form from exercising a des- 
potism (!) over the human spirit ; if it could do that, 
it would become an outer law at once." (p. 45.) Even 
if men " could appeal to a revelation from Heaven, 
they would still be under the Law (!!!); for a Eeve- 
lation speaking from without, and not from within, 
is an external Law, and not a Spirit." (p. 36.) " The 
principle of private judgment puts conscience between 

Quite ineffectual, at the very close of this unhappy composi- 
tion, as a set off to the compacted and often repeated asseverations 
of his earlier pages, is the amiable author's plaintive plea for "even 
the perverted use of the Bible;" adding, "And meanwhile, how 
utterly impossible it would be in the manhood of the world to 
imagine any other instructor of mankind!" (p. 47.) It is one of 
the favourite devices of these seven writers, side by side with their 
most objectionable statements, to insert isolated passages of admitted 
truth, and occasionally even of considerable beauty: which how- 
ever are utterly meaningless and out of place where they stand; 
and (like the sentence above written,) powerless to undo the cir- 
cumstantial wickedness of what went before. I repeat, that the 
words above- written are meaningless where they stand : for if Dr. 
Temple really means that it is " utterly impossible in the manhood 
of the world to IMAGINE any other instructor of mankind" than 
THE BIBLE y what becomes of his Essay ? 


us and the Bible ; making conscience the supreme in- 
terpreter, whom it may be a duty to enlighten, but 
whom it can never be a duty to disobey." (Ibid.) 
Even those who look upon the observance of Sunday 
"as enjoined by an absolutely binding decree," are 
reproached as " thus at once putting themselves under 
a law." (p. 44.) .... Dr. Temple has written an Essay 
which he calls "an argument," and for which he 
claims "a drift." (p. 31.) That argument is neither 
more nor less than a direct assault on the Faith of 
Christian men ; and carried out to its lawful results, 
can lead to nothing but open Infidelity ; which makes 
it a very solemn consideration that the author, (whose 
private worth is known to all,) should be a teacher 
of the youth of Christian England. That drift I de- 
plore and condemn ; and no considerations of private 
friendship, no sincere regard for the writer's private 
worth, shall deter me from recording my delibe- 
rate conviction that it is wholly incompatible with his 
Ordination vows. 

I forbear to dive into the depth of irreligion and 
unbelief implied in what is contained from p. 37 to 
p. 40, and other parts of the present Essay : but I 
cannot abstain from asking why does this author, 
who, in all the intercourse of private life, is so manly 
a character, fall into the zwmanly trick of his bro- 
ther-Essayists, of insinuating what they dare not 
openly avow ? The great master of this cloudy shuf- 
fling art is Mr. Jowett. Even where he and his asso- 
ciates in " free handling," are express and definite in 
their statements, yet, as their rule is prudently to ab- 
stain from adducing a single example of their mean- 
ing, it is only by their disingenuous reticence that they 
escape punishment or exposure. Thus, Dr. Temple 



speaks of "many of the doctrinal statements of the 
early Church " being " plainly unfitted for permanent 
use ;" (p. 41 ;) but he prudently abstains from ex- 
plaining which of those " doctrinal statements " he 
means. He goes on to remark: "In fact, the 
Church of the Fathers claimed to do what not even 
the Apostles had claimed, namely, not only to teach 
the Truth, but to clothe it in logical statements .... 
for all succeeding time." He is evidently alluding 
to " the forms in which the first ages of the Church 
defined the Truth;" [i.e. to the Creeds;] of which he 
says, we "yet refuse to be bound ly them?"* (p. 44.) 
He goes on, "It belongs to a later epoch to see 
4 the law within the law 5 which absorbs such state- 
ments into something higher than themselves" (p. 41.) 
But the writer of that sentence ought to have had 
the manliness to explain what that "higher some- 
thing" is. 

Dr. Temple's estimate of the corruptions of the 
Papacy is of a piece with the rest of what I must be 
excused for calling a most unworthy performance. 
" Purgatory," &c. (he says) " was in fact, neither 
mcfre nor less than the old schoolmaster come back to 
bring some new scholars to CHRIST." (p. 42.) (Is 
the Eomish fable of Purgatory then to be put on the 
same footing as the Divine Eevelation to Moses on 
Sinai ?) It follows, " When the work was done, men 
began to discover that the Law was no longer neces- 
sary." (Ibid.) (Is it thus that the head-master of Eugby 
accounts for, and explains the Eeformation ?) " The 
time was come when it was fit to trust to the con- 
science as the supreme guide." (Ibid.) "At the Eefor- 
mation, it might have seemed at first as if the study 
of theology were about to return. But in reality an 



entirely new lesson commenced, the lesson of tole- 
ration. Toleration is the very opposite of dogmatism." 
(p. 43.) "Its tendency is to modify the early dog- 
matism by substituting the spirit for the letter, and 
practical religion for precise definitions of truth." 
(Ibid.) " The mature mind of our race is beginning 
to modify and soften the hardness and severity of the 
principles which its early manhood had elevated into 
immutable statements of truth. Men are beginning 
to take a wider view than they did. Physical science, 
researches into history, a more thorough knowledge 
of the world they inhabit, have enlarged our philo- 
sophy beyond the limits which bounded that of the 
Church of the Fathers. And all these have an influ- 
ence, whether we will or no, on our determinations 
of religious truth. There are found to be more things 
in heaven and earth than were dreamt of in patristic 
theology. GOD'S creation is a new book to be read 
by the side of His revelation, and to be interpreted 
as coming from Him. We can acknowledge the great 
value of the forms in which the first ages of the 
Church defined the truth, and yet refuse to be bound 
by them." (p. 43-4.) . . . Who so unacquainted with the 
method of a certain school as not to understand the 
fatal meaning of generalities, false and foul as these ? 

It may occur to some persons to inquire whether 
St. Paul, in a well-known place, does not affirm, (some- 
what as it is affirmed in this Essay,) that " the heir, 
as long as he is a child, ... is under tutors and go- 
vernors until the time appointed of the father ?" And 
that, "Even so we, when we were children, were in 
bondage under the elements of the world : but when 


the fulness of time was come, GOD sent forth His SON 
.... to redeem them that were under the Law, that 
we might receive the adoption of sons?" Does not 
St. Paul also go on to reproach men for " turning 
again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto 
they desired to be again in bondage?" saying, "ye 
observe 5 days, and months, and times, and years q ." 
It is quite true that St. Paul says all this : and I 
would fain believe that a puerile misconception of the 
Apostle's meaning has betrayed the misguided author 
of the present Essay into a notion that he enjoys a 
species of Divine sanction for what he has written 
concerning "the Education of the World." I may 
add that St. Paul also declares, (in the same Epistle,) 
that "the Law was our pcedagogus to bring us to 
CHRIST. . . . But after faith is come, we are no longer 
under a pcedagogus*." He further adds an exhorta- 
tion to the Galatians, (for it is still them whom he is 
addressing,) " Stand fast therefore in the liberty 
wherewith CHRIST hath made us free, and be not en- 
tangled again with the yoke of bondage s ." St. John 
moreover, in many places, insists upon the spiritual 
powers and privileges of believers, in a very remark- 
able manner, the same St. John, the same < Apostle 
of Love,' who says of a certain Doctrine which l Essay- 
ists and Eeviewers' write as if they disbelieved, 
" If there come any unto you, and bring not this doc- 
trine, receive him not into your house, neither bid 
him GOD speed : for he that biddeth him GOD speed 
is partaker of his evil deeds V 

But it does not require much knowledge of Divinity 

P Trapa TTjpelo-Oe: i.e. "ye w^observe," "keep in a wrong way" 
* Gal. iv. 110. * Gal. iii. 24, 25. 8 Gal. v. 1. 

* 2 St. John v. 10, 11. 


to make a man aware that St. Paul's meaning and 
intention is as widely removed from Dr. Temple's, as 
Truth is removed from falsehood : or rather, that the 
Apostle is flatly against him. St. Paul is not bent on 
explaining what has been the Education of the World, 
but on pointing out in what relation the Gospel of 
CHRIST stands to the Law of Moses. He is reproving 
men who, having been converted to Christianity, were 
for lapsing into Judaism. Certain of the Circumcision 
had been striving, in St. Paul's absence, to bring his 
Galatian converts under the bondage of the Levitical 
Law; assuring them that the Gospel would avail 
them nothing unless they were circumcised and obe- 
dient to the Jewish ritual. Hence the Apostle's 
vehemence, and the peculiar form which his instruc- 
tion assumes. 

The Christian dispensation, (the scheme of Man's 
Justification by Faith in CHRIST,) is the fulfilment, 
(St. Paul says,) of the covenant which GOD once so- 
lemnly made with Abraham. The Mosaic Law, (which 
was not given till 430 years after the time of Abra- 
ham,) is powerless to cancel that earlier covenant of 
Faith. What was the use of the Law, then? some 
one may ask. It was a supplementary, parenthetical, 
superadded thing, which came in, as it were, acci- 
dentally, for certain assignable purposes. But now 
that the original covenant of Faith has at length 
found fulfilment in the person of CHRIST, it were 
monstrous (argues the Apostle) to revert to Judaism : 
which was a species of prison-house where we suffered 
bondage until MESSIAH came to set us free. We were 
as prisoners, says the Apostle. We were also as chil- 
dren, (who, anciently, from the age of six to fourteen, 
used to be consigned by their father to the care of 


a slave called a ' paedagogus ;' who was neither quali- 
fied nor allowed to teach them anything ; but whose 
office it was to conduct them to school.) So brought to 
the School of CHRIST, where learning comes by Faith, 
(such is his argument,) let men beware how they 
revert to the carnal ordinances of the Jewish Law. 

How different a view of our true state is thus dis- 
covered, from that which Dr. Temple describes ! A 
glorious liberty is in reserve for us indeed* : a pre- 
cious freedom is ours already. But it bears no resem- 
blance whatever to that lawlessness (dvofjiia) with which 
Dr. Temple seems to be enamoured. It is the correla- 
tion of slavery, not of obedience. It implies emanci- 
pation from the Levitical Law, not from the sanctions, 
however strict, of the Christian Church. The Doc- 
trines of CHRIST'S kingdom are the Christian's crown 
and joy. His "service is perfect freedom," and im- 
parts to life all its sweetness. Not only, therefore, 
(according to St. Paul's view of the matter,) were men 
no t released from school at u the meeting point of the 
Law and the Gospel," (p. 24,) but they only began to 
go to School then* ! 

How different a view of the Education of the World 
does the HOLY SPIRIT, does our LORD Himself fur- 
nish, from that which Dr. Temple here advocates ! . . . 
Fallen, in the person of Adam, and made subject to 
the penalty of eternal death, behold Mankind from 

11 Rom. viii. 21. 

T It is presumed that the article in the Diet, of Antiquities will 
be held unexceptionable authority as to the office of the iraidayvyos. 
-" Rex filio paedagogum constituit, et singulis diebus ad eum in- 
visit, interrogans eum : Kum comedit films meus ? num in scholam 
abiit ? num ex schold rediit ?" "Wetstein, in loc. So Plato Lysis, 
p. 118. 


the very first taught to believe that they should be 
ultimately redeemed by One born of woman. Under 
the image of a son who remained in his father's house, 
the favoured descendants of Abraham are set before 
us : while the rest of the world is pourtrayed in the 
person of another son, who goes into a far country, 
and there wastes his substance with riotous living. 
Not when grown into a colossal " youth too old for 
discipline," (p. 20, bottom,) but in the day of his dire 
necessity, and when he begins to be sensible of his 
utter need, behold the heathen nations, (in the person 
of the poor prodigal,) arising, and going to their true 
Father, and in the fulness of their misery asking for 
a hired servant's place in the household. Behold too 
GOD'S mercies in CHRIST set forth by " the first 
robe," (that robe of innocence which when Adam lost 
he knew that he was naked !) and the ring, and the 
shoes, and the fatted calf! Lastly, in the embrace 
which the Father, (while yet the offending but re- 
pentant son is a long way off,) runs to bestow, be- 
hold how GOD loved the World ! 

But Dr. Temple may say, My parable relates to 
one person : that which you have quoted pourtrays 
two, and thus all parallelism is lost. (In other words, 
our LORVS picture of " the Education of the "World" 
is altogether unlike Dr. Temple's /) Take, however, a 
parable which ought to suit exactly ; for in it man- 
kind are exhibited in the person of " a certain man." 

This individual is represented as one who, as he 
travels, is by thieves stripped, wounded, and left half 
dead. Such then, by nature, is the state of the hu- 
man race! Priest and Levite, who "look on him," 
but "pass by on the other side," set forth the Educa- 
tion of the World (!) until CHRIST came. A certain 


Samaritan, who lias compassion on the naked and 
wounded wretch, goes to him, binds up his wounds, 
pours in oil and wine, sets him on his own beast, 
brings him to the inn, and takes care of him : this 
one is CHRIST. The stranger's pence, and his promise 
to repay at his second coming what shall have been 
over-expended, set forth, I suppose, that ministra- 
tion of CHRIST'S Word and Sacraments which Dr. 
Temple exercises .... Let me dismiss the subject by 
remarking that I find no countenance given by Holy 
Scripture to Dr. Temple's monstrous notions concern- 
ing the Infancy, the Youth, and the Manhood of the 
Colossal Man. 

Our SAVIOUR CHRIST is indeed set before us in 
Scripture as our great Exemplar 3 " ; and St. Paul calls 
upon us to be followers, or rather imitators, (/LU/Ai/rof), 
of himself; even as he was of CHRIST y . But this 
walking by example, did not supersede the walking 
by precept ; neither was it to endure, (GoD forbid !) 
(as Dr. Temple emphatically says it was), (pp. 26 : 
28-9,) only for about a hundred years : still less was 
" Example," (the second Teacher of the Human 
Race,) straightway to find itself supplanted by " the 
Spirit or Conscience" of Man, " the third great 
Teacher, and the last." What need to say that 
until His Second Coming to judge the world, we 
shall have no Teacher but CHRIST, no other way 
proposed to us to walk in, but that which the Gospel 
discloses ? 

Neither is it true that the world has been old 
enough, for the last 1800 years, to be taught by " see- 

1 St. Peter ii. 21. Comp. St. James v. 10. 
y 1 Cor. xi. 1 : iv. 16. Phil. iii. 17. 2 Thess, iii. 9. Heb. 
xiii. 7, &c. 


ing the lives of Saints" (a sentiment worthy of the 
weakest of Eomanists !) " letter than by hearing the 
words of Prophets." (pp. 28-9.) The Church of CHRIST 
will for ever listen to the blessed accents of that 
" goodly fellowship," until she beholds Him by whose 
Spirit they spake 2 , coming again to judgment. True 
that the object with which she will all along inform her 
children, will ever be that they may become conformed 
to the model of her Divine LORD. But " sound doc- 
trine a ," embodied in a "form of sound words b ," 
constitutes that TrapaKaraOrjKri, or " deposit," which 
is her proudest inheritance and her greatest treasure 6 : 
and impatience of it is a note of evil men, and of 
a season at which Prophecy points her awful finger d . 
. . . . " Lawlessness," (avo/jLiaJ is discoursed of by the 
SPIRIT with a mysterious earnestness which it seems 
to me impossible to survey without mingled awe and 
terror lest one may become oneself involved in the 
threatened condemnation. I allude of course especially 
to what St. Paul says in his second Epistle to the 
Thessalonians ; the language of which, to be under- 
stood, must be studied in the original 6 . 

Conscience has her office, doubtless ; and a most 
important one it is. Conscience is the very candle 
of the LORD within us. But, (as I have elsewhere 
shewn,) it were base treason to speak of conscience as 
Essayists and Eeviewers speak of it. With them, it is 
indeed impossible to argue. They must first with- 

1 St. Pet. i. 11. 

1 Tim. i. 10: iv. 6, Tit. i. 9 : ii. 1. Comp. 2 St. John 
v. 10. b 2 Tim. i. 13. 

c 2 Tim. i. 13, 14 : ii. 2. Also 1 Tim. vi. 20. On both places, 
Dr. Wordsworth's Notes may be consulted with advantage, 

d 2 Tim. iv. 3. e 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8, &c. 


draw from the cause which they have betrayed ; cease 
to profess the teaching which they disbelieve ; resign 
their commission in a Church to whose Doctrine and 
Discipline they openly proclaim themselves to be 
opposed. I will not argue with them, while they pre- 
sume to write B.D. and D.D. after their names, 
hold Chaplaincies, preside over Schools and Colleges, 
profess to lecture in Divinity, officiate at the altars 
of the Church of England, by virtue of their sacred 
office, and ly virtue of that only, are instructors of 
youth. They cannot, (if they are in the full enjoy- 
ment of their faculties,) they cannot imagine, for a 
moment, that, as honest men, they can remain where 
they are ! They must either recal their words or 
resign their stations ! 

But speaking to others, it will abundantly suffice 
to point out that such principles as the present Essay 
advocates are incompatible with the profession of 
Christianity in any country, and in any age. If the 
spirit or conscience of Man is to legislate " without 
appeal except to himself ;" (p. 31 ;) if men are to " re- 
fuse to be lound" (p. 44.) by the Creeds of the Church ; 
if the very Bible is not to be looked upon as " an 
outer law :" (p. 45 :) how is sentence ever to be pro- 
nounced with authority ? how are men to know what 
they have to believe ? how are we to enjoy the guid- 
ance of any " outer law" at all ? I do not ask these 
questions as a clergyman; neither am I addressing 
those exclusively who have been admitted to the Chris- 
tian priesthood. Common sense, ordinary piety, natural 
reverence, seem to cry out, and ask, If the Church 
have no "authority in controversies of Faith f ;" if the 
three Creeds ought not " thoroughly to be received and 

f Art. XX. 


believed* ;" if the Bible is not " an outer Law ;" where 
is Authority in things Divine to be sought for ? What 
can be worthy of credit ? Where are we to look for 
external guidance on this side the grave ? . . . Surely, 
surely, common sense is outraged when she hears it 
insisted that the written Bible is a Eevelation speak- 
ing NOT "from without," but "from within!" (pp. 
36 and 45.) Surely it must be admitted that it were 
mere atheism to pretend that Man's " spirit or con- 
science, without appeal except to himself" shall hence- 
forth be the governing principle of Mankind ! 

Let me in conclusion do this writer an act of justice, 
(for which he will not perhaps altogether thank me,) 
even while with shame and sorrow I now dismiss his 
Essay. Unpardonable as he is for having written 
thus ; and wholly without excuse for having suffered 
nine editions of his blasphemous allegory to go forth to 
the world without apology, explanation, or retractation 
of any kind, although he labours under a weight of 
competent censure without a parallel, I believe, in 
the annals of the English Church h : notwithstanding 
all this, I am bound to say that if the unbelievers of 
this generation think they have an ally in the man, 
Frederick Temple, they are very much mistaken. 
That so pure a heart, and earnest a spirit, will never 
work itself free of its present bondage, I should be 
sorry indeed to think. (But the mischief which 
the head-master of Eugby School will have done in 
the meantime !) His misfortune (or rather fault) it 
has been, that he has really never studied Divinity ; 

* Art. VIII. 

h I allude especially to the terrible castigation lie has indi- 
vidually received at the hands of the Bishop of Exeter. See 
the Times, of March 4th, 1861. 


nor, in fact, knows anything at all about it, as a volume 
of his, lately published, sufficiently shews. Apart 
from his opinions (!), he is a thoroughly amiable man ; 
and (with the same proviso !) an excellent school- 
master ; but when he ventures upon the province of 
Theology, he shews himself something infinitely worse 
than a very lad Divine. 

II. On turning the first page of the review which 
follows, " by BOWLAND WILLIAMS, D.D. Vice-Principal 
and Professor of Hebrew, St. David's College, Lam- 
peter; Yicar of Broad Chalke, Wilts," we are made 
sensible that we are in company of a writer consider- 
ably in advance of Dr. Temple, though altogether of 
the same school. In fact, if Dr. Williams had not 
been Vice-Principal of a Theological College, and a 
Doctor of Divinity, one would have supposed him to 
be a complete infidel, who found it convenient to 
vent his own unbelief in a highly laudatory review of 
the principles of the late Baron Bunsen. Hear him : 
" When Bunsen asks t How long shall we bear this 
fiction of an external Bevelation,' that is, of one 
violating the heart and conscience, instead of express- 
ing itself through them ; or when he says, l All this 
is delusion for those who believe it ; but what is it in 
the mouths of those who teach it ?' Or when he ex- 
claims, ' Oh the fools ! who, if they do see the im- 
minent perils of this age, think to ward them off by 
narrow-minded persecution' ! and when he repeats, 
< Is it not time, in truth, to withdraw the veil from 
our misery? to tear off the mask from hypocrisy, 
and destroy that sham which is undermining all 
real ground under our feet ? to point out the dangers 


which surround, nay, threaten already to engulf us ?' 
there will be some who think his language too 
vehement for good taste. Others will think burning 
words needed by the disease of our time. These will 
not quarrel on points of taste with a man who in our 
darkest perplexity has reared again the banner of 
Truth, and uttered thoughts which gave courage to 
the weak and sight to the blind. If Protestant Europe 
is to escape those shadows of the twelfth century 
which with ominous recurrence are closing around us, 
to Baron Bunsen will belong a foremost place among 
the champions of light and right." (pp. 92-3.) 

But even the Prussian infidel is not advanced 
enough for the Vicar of Broad Chalke. Bunsen, it 
seems, was weak enough to believe that the prophet 
Jonah was a real personage. This evokes the follow- 
ing singular burst of critical indignation from the 
Eeverend author of the present Essay : "It provokes 
a smile on serious topics," (a kind of impropriety 
which the Yice-Principal of Lampeter will not commit 
except under protest and with an apology!) "to 
observe the zeal with which our critic vindicates the 
personality of Jonah, and the originality of his hymn, 
(the latter being generally thought doubtful), while 
he proceeds to explain that the narrative of our book 
in which the hymn is imbedded, contains a late le- 
gend founded on misconception. One can imagine 
the cheers which the opening of such an essay might 
evoke in some of our circles, changing into indigna- 
tion (!) as the distinguished foreigner developed his 
views. After this he might speak more gently of 
mythical theories." (p. 77.) 

For the most part, however, the Yicar of Broad 
Chalke is able to cite the opinions of Bunsen with 


admiration and approval. They are both agreed that 
the Deluge " was but a prolonged play of the forces 
of fire and water rendering the primaeval regions of 
North Asia uninhabitable, and urging the nations to 
new abodes." (Of what nature this " prolonged play* ? 
was, is however left unexplained : while " the forces of 
fire and water rendering primeval regions uninhabit- 
able," and " urging nations to new abodes," has alto- 
gether a Herodotean sound.) "We learn approxi- 
mately its antiquity, and infer limitation in its range 
from finding it recorded in the traditions of Iran and 
Palestine, (or of Japheth and Shem), but unknown to 
the Egyptians and Mongolians." (p. 56.) (A delight- 
ful method truly of attaining historical precision in 
a matter of this nature !)...." In the half ideal, half 
traditional notices of the beginnings of our race com- 
piled in Genesis, we are bid notice the combina- 
tion of documents and the recurrence of barely con- 
sistent Genealogies." (Ibid.} Praise is at hand for 
" the firmness with which Bunsen relegates the long 
lives of the first patriarchs to the domain of legend, 
or of symbolical cycle." (p. 57.) " The historical 
portion begins with Abraham." (Ibid.) After this ad- 
mission, it is instructive to observe how the learned 
writer deals with the narrative. The Exode was 
"a struggle conducted by human means." (p. 59.) 
" Thus, as the pestilence of the Book of Kings be- 
comes in Chronicles the more visible angel, so the 
avenger who slew the firstborn may have been the 
Bedouin host, (!) akin nearly to Jethro, and more re- 
motely to Israel." (Ibid.) (It is really hardly worth 
stopping to point out that by ' Kings' the Reverend 
writer means < the second Book of Samuel :' and to 
remind the reader that the Angel is mentioned as ex- 


pressly in Samuel as in Chronicles' 1 . Also, to ask what 
1 the Bedouin host' could have been doing in Egypt 
previous to the Exode ?) " The passage of the Eed 
Sea may be interpreted with the latitude of poetry." 
(Ibid.) " Moses would gladly have founded a free 
religious society, . . . but the rudeness or hardness 
of his people's heart compelled him to a sacerdotal 
system and formal tablets of stone." (p. 62.) Nay, 
Abraham's intended sacrifice of Isaac was an act of 
obedience to "the fierce ritual of Syria, with the awe 
of a Divine voice :" (p. 61 :) while the Divine com- 
mand, in conformity with which Abraham spared to 
slay his son, is resolved into an allegory. " He trusted 
that the FATHER, whose voice from Heaven he heard 
at heart, was better pleased with mercy than with 
sacrifice, and this trust was his righteousness." (p. 61.) 
Dr. "Williams straightway shews us how we may tread 
in the steps of faithful Abraham. The perpetual re- 
sponse of our hearts, (he says,) to principles of Eeason 
and Eight of our own tracing, is a truer sign of faith 
than deference to a supposed external authority, (p. 61.) 
.... According to this writer, therefore, Genesis and 
Exodus are pure fable ! 

The whole of Scripture, in the hands of this Doctor 
of Divinity, undergoes corresponding treatment. They 
who " twist Prophecy into harmony with the details 

1 " And when the Angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem 
to destroy it, the LOBD . . . said to the Angel that destroyed the 
people," &c. " And the Angel of the LOED was by the threshing- 
place of Araunah the Jebusite." 2 Sam. xxiv. 16. 

" The Angel of the LORD stood by the threshing-floor of Oman 
the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the Angel of 
the LOBD stand between the Earth and the Heaven, having a drawn 
sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem." 1 Chron. xxi. 
15, 16. 



of Gospel history, fall into inextricable contradictions." 
(pp. 64-5.) " The Book of Isaiah, as composed of ele- 
ments of different eras," can only be accepted with 
a " modified theory of authorship and of prediction." 
(p. 68.) In the prophecy of Zechariah are " three dis- 
tinct styles and aspects of affairs." (Ibid.) "The 
cursing Psalms," (!!!) he informs us, were not " evan- 
gelically inspired ;" (p. 63 ;) and yet we are constrained 
to remember that the cixth Psalm (specially alluded to) 
is evangelically interpreted by St. Peter k . The true 
translation of Psalm xxii. 17, (learnedly discussed, 
long since, by Bishop Pearson,) is not "they pierced 
My hands and My feet," but " like a lion ;" (not- 
withstanding that Pearson has shewn that the sub- 
stitution of vau for yod in this place is one of the 
eighteen instances where the Scribes have tampered 
with the text 1 ; and notwithstanding that this mo- 
dern corruption of the Hebrew, as every one must see, 
makes the place almost nonsense m .) Is. vii. 14 does 
not refer to the miraculous birth of CHRIST, (p. 69,) 
(although St. Matthew is express in his assertion 
that it does.) There is, it seems, an elder and a later 
Isaiah, (p. 71.) The famous liiird chapter does not 
refer to CHRIST ; but either to Jeremiah or to " the 
collective Israel," (p. 73,) (although it is at least 
.seven times quoted, and expressly applied to our 
SAVIOUR, in the New Testament 11 .) Daniel, we are 

k Acts i. 20. 

1 On the Creed, Art. iv. p. 244, notes (u) and (#). 

m " It would take no great space," (says Dr. Pusey,) "to shew 
that the rendering 'as a lion,' is unmeaning, without authority, 
against authority ; while the rendering * they pierced' is borne out 
alike by authority and language." 

a Ver. 1, St. John xii. 38. Bom. x. 16. Ver. 4, St. Matth. 


assured, belongs to different ages ; and it is " certain, 
beyond fair doubt . . . that those portions of the book, 
supposed to be specially predictive, are . . a history of 
past occurrences." (p. 69.) That "the book contains 
no predictions, except by analogy and type, can hardly 
be gainsaid." (pp. 76-7.) . . . . (If any of us had dog- 
matized as to Truth as these men do as to error, 
(remarks Dr. Pusey,) what scorn we should be held up 
to !).... The Keverend author insolently adds, " It 
is time for divines to recognize these things, since 
with their opportunities of study, the current error 
is as discreditable to them, as for the well-meaning 
crowd, who are taught to identify it with their creed, 
it is a matter of grave compassion." (p. 77.) " When so 
vast an induction on the destructive side has been 
gone through, it avails little that some passages may 
be doubtful ; one perhaps in Zechariah, and one in 
Isaiah, capable of being made directly Messianic ; 
and a chapter possibly in Deuteronomy foreshadowing 
the final fall of Jerusalem. Even these few cases, the 
remnant of so much confident rhetoric, tend to melt, 
if they are not already melted, in the crucible of 

searching enquiry." (pp. 69-70.) Our Doctor of 

Divinity, having reduced the prophecies " capable of 
being made" Messianic, to two, breaks out into a strain 
of refined banter which is altogether his own, and 
which we presume is intended to stand in the place 
of argument. " If our German, [viz. Bunsen,] had 
ignored all that the masters of philology have proved 
on these subjects, his countrymen would have raised a 
storm of ridicule, at which he must have drowned him- 
self in the Neckar." (p. 70.) A catastrophe so fatal to 

viii. 17. Yer. 4 to 11, 1 St. Pet. ii. 24, 25. Yer. 7 and 8, 
Acts viii. 32. Yer. 12, St. Mark xv. 28. St. Luke xxii. 37. 



the cause of true Eeligion and sound learning may well 
point a paragraph ! . . . . But we must write gravely. 

The absolute worthlessness of unsupported dicta 
such as these, ought to be apparent to all. It is use- 
less to reason with a madman. We desiderate nothing 
so much as " searching enquiry, '' (p. 69,) but we are 
presented instead with something worse than random 
assertion. If the writer would state a single case, 
with its evidence, we should know how to deal with 
him. We should examine his arguments seriatim ; 
and either refute them, or admit their validity. From 
such " free handling," the cause of sacred Truth can 
never suffer. But when, in place of argument and 
evidence, we have merely bluster, what is to be said ? 
Pity and disregard are the only reply we can bestow ; 
or our answers must be as brief as the calumny which 
provokes them. " How," (asks the Eegius Professor 
of Hebrew,) "can such an undigested heap of errors 
receive a systematic answer in brief space, or in any 
one treatise or volume ?" 

" If any sincere Christian now asks, is not then our 
SAVIOUR spoken of in Isaiah ; let him open his New 
Testament, and ask therewith John the Baptist, whe- 
ther he was Elias ? If he finds the Baptist answering 
/ am not, yet our LORD testifies that in spirit and 
power this was Elias ; a little reflexion will shew how 
the historical representation in Isaiah liii. is of some 
suffering prophet or remnant, yet the truth and 
patience, the grief and triumph, have their highest 
fulfilment in Him who said, ' FATHER, not My will 
but Thine.' " (p. 74.). I have transcribed this passage 
to illustrate the miserable sophistry of the author. It 
is foretold by Malachi that before the great and ter- 
rible day of the LORD, Elijah is to come back to 


Earth . John Baptist came in his " spirit and power p ," 
but was not Elijah himself. How does it follow from 
this that Isaiah may have prophesied merely of quali- 
ties and not of a person ? The only logical inference 
from his words would surely be, that Elijah is yet to 
come q ! Dr. Williams adds, "We must not distort 
the prophets to prove the Divine WORD incarnate, 
and then from the Incarnation reason back to the 
sense of prophecy." (p. 74.) Was not then the Divine 
WORD incarnate? 

The theory of one who writes like an open un- 
believer concerning Divine things is really not worth 
developing: and yet, as I am examining an Essay 
which seems to be entirely built upon such a theory, 
it may be desirable, in this instance, that the de- 
formity of the writer should be uncovered : especially 
since Dr. Williams writes such very dark English, 
that, until some of his sentences are translated, they 
are barely intelligible. 

Anticipating that his doctrines may " alarm those 
who think that, apart from Omniscience belonging to 
the Jews, (!) the proper conclusion of reason is Athe- 
ism ;" (in other words, that the rejection of a belief 
in the inspiration of Prophecy will eventually conduct 
a man to the rejection of GOD Himself;) the Re- 
verend writer declares that "it is not inconsistent 
with the idea that ALMIGHTY GOD has been pleased to 
educate men and nations, employing imagination no 
less than conscience, and suffering His lessons to play 
freely within the limits of humanity and its short- 
comings." (p. 77.) (In other words, that what Scrip- 

Mai. iv. 5. p St. Luke i. 17. 

1 As the Fathers generally teach. . See Brown's Ordo Saclorum, 
pp. 702-3, &c., &c. 


ture emphatically declares, and what .men have for 
thousands of years believed to be inspired predictions 
of future events, are none other than the effusions 
of a lively imagination, or the suggestions of a well- 
informed conscience.) " The prophetical disquisi- 
tions," (p. 77,) therefore, are subject to error of every 
imaginable description; and possess no higher attri- 
butes than belong to any ordinary human work by 
"a master's hand." (p. 77.) "The Sacred Writers 
acknowledge themselves men of like passions with 
ourselves, and we are promised illumination from the 
Spirit which dwelt in them." (p. 78.) We may not 
think of the Sacred Writers as " passionless machines, 
and call Luther and Milton ' uninspired.' " (Ibid.) 
"The great result is to vindicate the work of the 
Eternal Spirit; that abiding influence which under- 
lies all others, and in which converge all images of 
old time and means of grace now : temple, Scripture, 
finger, and Hand of GOD ; and again, preaching, 
sacraments, waters which comfort, and flame which 
burns." (p. 78.) It follows," If such a Spirit did 
not dwell in the Church, the Bible would not be 
inspired, for the Bible is, before all things, the written 
voice of the congregation." (p. 78.) Offended Eeason, 
(for Piety has no place here,) has not time to reclaim 
against so preposterous a statement; for it follows 
immediately, "Bold as such a theory of Inspira- 
tion (!) may sound, it was the earliest creed of the 
Church, and it is the only one to which the facts of 
Scripture answer." (p. 78.) . . . What reply can be 
offered to such an outrageous statement, but flat con- 
tradiction? What more effectual refutation of such 
a < theory' (?) concerning Scripture, than simply to 
state it ? 


Let this miserable but conceited man yet further 
map out the nature of his own delusion respecting 
Prophecy. He applauds the wisdom of one who 
" accepts freely the belief of scholars, and yet does not 
despair of Hebrew Prophecy as a witness to the King- 
dom of God:" (p. 70:) (that is, of one who, like 
Bunsen, altogether disbelieves in prophecy as prophecy^ 
and yet is bent on finding something of an Evan- 
gelical character in the prophetic writings.) "The 
way of doing so left open to him, was to shew per- 
vading the Prophets those deep truths which lie at 
the heart of Christianity, and to trace the growth of 
such ideas, the belief in a righteous GOD, and the 
nearness of Man to GTOD, the power of prayer, and 
.the victory of self-sacrificing patience, ever expanding 
in men's hearts, until the fulness of time came, and 
the ideal of the Divine thought was fulfilled in the 
Son of Man." (p. 70.) In other words, CHRIST was 
nothing more than the fullest development and im- 
personation of the best thoughts and feelings of the 
(so-called) prophets ! He " fulfilled in His own person 
the highest aspiration of Hebrew seers and of man- 
kind, thereby lifting the ancient words, so to speak, 
into a new and higher power; and therefore was 
recognized as having eminently the unction of a pro- 
phet whose words die not, of a priest in a temple 
not made with hands, and of a king in the realm of 
thought, delivering his people from a bondage of 
moral evil, worse than Egypt or Babylon." (pp. 74-5.) 
" A notion of foresight by vision of particular s, or a kind 
of clairvoyance," (p. 70,) (such is this Doctor of Divi- 
nity's notion of the gift of prophecy !) he deems in- 
admissible. " Literal prognostication" (p. 65,) is his 
abhorrence. He would eliminate the Messianic pas- 


sages altogether, (pp. 65-6.) That Prophecy was mi- 
raculous, was a dream of the Fathers, (p. 66.) Even 
the notion that Prophecy is " a natural gift, consistent 
with fallibility," (p. 70,) Dr. Williams rejects as an 
unwarrantable addition to the " moral and metaphy- 
sical basis of Prophecy." (p. 70.) Bunsen was for ad- 
mitting that addition. " One would wish," (says the 
Vicar of Broad Chalke,) " he might have intended only 
the power of seeing the ideal in the actual ', or of tracing 
the Divine Government in the movements of men. 
He seems to mean move than presentiment or saga- 
city : and this element in his system requires proof." 
(pp. 70-1.) . . . This, from a Doctor of Divinity ! a 
Professor of Hebrew ! the Yice-Principal of a Theo- 
logical College ! a shepherd of souls ! 

We are left to infer that " the Fall of Adam repre- 
sents ideally the circumscription of our spirits in 
limits of flesh and time :" (p. 88 :) that CHRIST is 
"the moral Saviour of mankind;" (p. 80;) and. that 
Salvation from evil is to be attained by the conformity 
of our souls to a u religious idea" which was "brought 
to perfection" in CHRIST, (p. 80.) This "religious 
idea" "is the thought of the Eternal." (Ibid.} In 
other words, "Salvation from evil" is "through 
sharing the SAVIOUR'S Spirit." (p. 87.) We are fur- 
ther left to infer that "Justification by faith means 
the peace of mind, or sense of Divine approval, which 
comes of trust in a righteous GOD :" (p. 80 :) that 
" Eegeneration is a correspondent giving of insight, 
or an awakening of forces of the soul : Eesurrection, 
a spiritual quickening : Salvation, our deliverance, not 
from the life-giving GOD, but from evil and dark- 
ness." (p. 81.) ... And this from a Clergyman who has 
just subscribed, " willingly and ex animo" the three 


Articles in the 36th Canon ! . . . After such specimens 
of Divinity, we are scarcely surprised to find that 
the fires of Hell (yievva) " may serve as images of 
distracted remorse :" (p. 81 :) that " Heaven is not a 
place r , so much as a fulfilment of the love of GOD." 
(pp. 81-2.) The very Incarnation, (which he calls " the 
embodiment of the Eternal Mind,") (p. 82.) is spoken 
of as if it were a myth. " It becomes with our author 
as purely spiritual as it was with St. Paul. The Son 
of David by birth is the SON of GOD ly the spirit of 
holiness. "What is flesh, is born of flesh ; and what is 
spirit, is born of Spirit." (p. 82.) Eom. i. 1 3 is 
quoted in support of this, which I cannot but regard 
as blasphemy : for if it does not mean that our SAVIOUR 
was not, in a true and literal sense, the SON of GOD at 
all, it is hard to see what it can mean. As for the 
following account of the mystery of the Blessed Tri- 
nity, it shall only be said that it sounds like a denial 
of the Catholic doctrine altogether. " Being, becom- 
ing, and animating ; or substance, thinking, and con- 
scious life, are expressions of a Triad which may be 
also represented as will, wisdom, and love ; as light, 
radiance, and warmth ; as fountain, stream, and united 
flow ; as mind, thought, and consciousness ; as person, 
word, and life ; as FATHER, SON, and SPIRIT." (p. 88.) 
The nebulous is a striking peculiarity of the style 
of the Yicar of Broad Chalke 8 . He informs us that 
" in virtue of the identity of Thought with Being the 
primitive Trinity represented neither three originant 
principles nor three transient phases, but three eternal 
subsistencies in one Divine Mind. . . . The Divine 
Consciousness or Wisdom, consubstantial with the 

r And yet, " I go to prepare a place for you !" St. John xiv. 2. 
See, for example, p. 60, (lower half,) p. 62, (middle,) &c. 


Eternal Will, becoming personal in the Son of Man, 
is the express image of the FATHER; and JESUS ac- 
tually, but also Mankind ideally, is the SON of GOD." 
(pp. 88-9.) Since this has "almost a Brahmanical 
sound" (p. 89.) even to the Yicar of Broad Chalke, 
we are content to pass it by in mute astonishment. 
He proceeds: "Both spiritual affection and meta- 
physical reasoning forbid us to confine Eevelations 
like those of CHRIST to the first half century of our 
era ; but shew at least affinities of our faith existing 
in men's minds, anterior to Christianity, and renewed 
with deep echo from living hearts in many a gene- 
ration." (p. 82.) Was our SAVIOUR then a fabulous 
personage, a virtuous principle, and not a Man ? . . . 
" Again. We find the evidences of our canonical books 
and of the patristic authors nearest to them, are suffi- 
cient to prove illustrationjn outward act of principles 
perpetually true, but not adequate to guarantee nar- 
ratives inherently incredible or precepts evidently 
wrong." (pp. 82-3.) Are then the sacred "narratives" 
"inherently incredible?" or the Divine "precepts" 
"evidently wrong?" These are, we presume, among 
the " traditional fictions about our Canon" (p. 83.) 
at which the Theological Professor sneers. "Hence 
we are obliged to assume in ourselves a verifying 
faculty," (p. 83,) and so, Dr. Williams and Dr. 
Temple shake hands*. An instance of the exercise of 
this faculty is immediately subjoined. " The verse 
* And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but he 
that came down,' is intelligible as a free comment 
near the end of the first century ; but has no meaning 
in our LORD'S mouth at a time when the Ascension 
had not been heard of." (p. 84.) " The Apocalypse" 

* Comp. p. 45. 


in like manner, to " cease to be a riddle," must be 
" taken as a series of poetical visions which represent 
the outpouring of the vials of wrath upon the City 
where our LORD was slain." (p. 84.) ... (Is it possible 
that a Minister of the Gospel of CHRIST can speak thus 
concerning the Divine record?) . . . " The second of 
the Petrine Epistles, having alike external and internal 
evidence against its genuineness, is necessarily sur- 
rendered as a whole." (p. 84.) (Can a man solemnly 
sign the vith Article, and yet so write?) " A philo- 
sophical view [of the doctrine of the Trinity] recom- 
mends itself as easiest to believe." (p. 87.) The 
1 f view" expressed in the Athanasian Creed is we 
presume that which is stigmatized as " one felt to be 
so irrational, that it calls in the aid of terror." (p. 87.) 
The Eeverend writer does not name the Athanasian 
Creed, indeed. It is not the general fashion of Essay- 
ists and Eeviewers, from Dr. Temple to Professor 
Jowett, to speak plainly. But common sense asks, 
If Dr. Williams does not allude to the Creed in 
question, what does he allude to? And common 
honesty adds, How is such an allusion to that for- 
mula consistent with subscription to Art. viii. ? 

The Sacrament of Baptism, (he says,) has "dege- 
nerated into a magical form," (p. 86,) since it has 
" become twisted into a false analogy with circum- 
cision," (twisted, at all events, by St. Paul 11 !) and 
it is merely an "Augustinian notion" that "a curse 
is inherited by Infants." How, one humbly asks, 
does the Eeverend writer reconcile it to his conscience 
not only to have signed the ixth Article, but to em- 
ploy the Baptismal Service, and to teach the little 
ones of the flock their Catechism ? 

u Col. ii. 11, 12. Rom. ii. 29. Phil. iii. 3, &c. 


On reaching the last page of the present Essay, one 
is irresistibly led to remark that if a single word could 
convey an adequate notion of the author's manner, 
that word would be Insolence. When Dr. "Williams 
would express difference of opinion, he has recourse 
to violence and bluster : when he would patronize, he 
is sure to make himself unspeakably offensive. But 
he seldom agrees with anybody, even with disciples 
of the same school with himself, as Messrs. Bunsen 
and Arnold, Coleridge and Francis Newman. Pro- 
fessor Mansel is "a mere gladiator hitting in the 
dark," whose " blows fall heaviest on what it was his 
duty to defend." (p. 67.) Dr. Pusey receives a me- 
nacing intimation of what his Commentary must not 
be. Davison's reasoning labours under the inconve- 
nient defect of an unproved minor premiss, (p. 66.) 
The majestic memory of Bp. Pearson is insulted by 
this vulgar man, and the fairness of his citations are 
impeached, (p. 72.) Bp. Butler is declared to have 
turned aside from an unwelcome idea (!), literature 
not being his strong point (!) (p. 65.) Justin, (p. 64,) 
Augustine, (p. 65,) Jerome, (pp. 65, 71,) Anselm, 
(p. 67,) all come in for a share of the Vice-Principal 
of Lampeter's contempt. Even the Apologist of Es- 
says and Reviews is constrained to admit that " any- 
thing more" ^becoming " than some of Dr. Williams' s 
remarks we have never read, in writings professing to 
be written seriously v ." 

But faults of mind and manner, however gross, do 
but disqualify a writer for being the associate of men 
of taste and good breeding; and blemishes of style 
are, at least, venial. Not so easily to be excused is 
the deplorable spectacle of a Minister of the Gospel, 
v Edinburgh Review, (Ap. 1861,) p. 429. 


a Doctor of Divinity and Yice-Principal of a Theolo- 
gical College, lending all his critical powers, (which 
yet seem to be of the most indifferent description,) 
in order to undermine the authority of GOD'S Word. 
He has been asked, "Do you unfeignedly believe 
all the Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Tes- 
tament ?" and he has answered, " I do believe them." 
He has been asked, " Will you be ready, with all dili- 
gence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and 
strange doctrines contrary to GOD'S Word?" and he 
has made reply, " I will, the LORD being my helper." 
He has solemnly declared his trust that he was " in- 
wardly moved ~by the HOLY GHOST to take upon himself 
this office and ministration" Yet this is the man who 
explains away Miracles, denies Prophecy, and idealizes 
Scripture; the man who disparages the formulae he 
uses daily, mutilates the Canon, and evacuates the 
most solemn doctrines of the Church ! 

I have now said as much as I think necessary con- 
cerning Dr. Williams's Essay. The entire refutation 
of such a tissue of groundless assertions and unfounded 
statements, and unscholarlike criticisms, and unphi- 
losophical views, would fill many volumes. It is to 
be feared also that, to him, the result would not be 
convincing after all. To have stated in brief outline, 
as I have already done, the leading positions to which 
he commits himself, ought to suffice. The mere ex- 
hibition of such principles (?) ought to be their own 
abundant refutation. . . . GOD give the unhappy author 
repentance of his errors ! And will not men believe 
that in the pages of the present Essay is to be seen 
the lawful development, and inevitable result of the 
opinions advocated in every other part of the present 
volume? I perceive scarcely any essential difference 
between the views of any of these seven writers. All 


are moving along the same fatal road ; and are sim- 
ply at different stages of the journey. But they 
conduct themselves wondrous differently in their 
progress, certainly ; Dr. Williams being immeasur- 
ably the most offensive of the seven, the only 
one who, besides seeming blasphemous, can truly be 
called vulgar. 

III. The third Essay in the present volume is by 
"the REV. BADEN POWELL, M.A., F.B.S., Savilian 
Professor of Geometry in the University of Oxford," 
a gentleman with whose labours I shall deal briefly 
and gently for two reasons. His assertions admit of 
summary refutation ; and he has already, (alas !) 
passed beyond the limit of earthly Criticism. I de- 
sire to add concerning him, that in the private re- 
lations of life he was a friendly and amiable person. 

The solemn circumstance already adverted to, would 
have kept me silent altogether. "When a writer is no 
longer able to defend himself, it is ungenerous to at- 
tack him : and at a time when he knows far more 
wonders than are dreamed of by any one on the Earth's 
surface, it seems unbecoming to stand reasoning over 
his grave about an u antecedent probability." But I 
am addressing not the dead, but the living, -to whom, 
in the pages of ' Essays and Ee views, 7 Professor Powell 
"being dead yet speaketh." 

He entitles his contribution, " On the Study of 
the Evidences of Christianity :" but, as often happens 
with performances of the like nature, the title of his 
Essay gives a wrong notion of its contents. It ought 
to have been called " The Validity of THE EVIDENCE 
FROM MIRACLES considered," or rather " denied." 

There is nothing new in the present attack on the 
Miracles of Scripture. The author disposes of them 


by a single assertion. " What is alleged," (he says,) 
" is a case of the supernatural. But no testimony can 
reach to the supernatural." (p. 107.) The inference 
is obvious. Again : " an event may be so incredible 
intrinsically as to set aside any degree of testimony" 
(p. 106.) Such an event he declares a Miracle to be ; 
and explains that "from the nature of our antecedent 
convictions, the probability of some kind of mistake 
or deception somewhere, though we know not where, 
is greater than the probability of the event really 
happening in the way, and from the causes assigned." 
(pp. 106-7.) This merely amounts to asserting that 
the antecedent improbability of Miracles is so great 
as to make them incredible. The writer does not 
attempt to establish this point. "The present dis- 
cussion," (he says,) "is not intended to be of a con- 
troversial kind ; it is purely contemplative and theo- 
retical." (p. 100.) And yet, he cannot suppose that 
the Universal Church will surrender its convictions 
and reverse its deliberate judgment, at the merely 
" contemplative and theoretical " suggestions of an 
individual, however respectable he may happen to be. 
Against his mere assertion, we claim a right to set 
the result of Bp. Butler's careful investigation of the 
same subject : " That there certainly is no such pre- 
sumption against Miracles, as to render them in any wise 
incredible: that, on the contrary, our being able to 
discern reasons for them, gives a positive credibility 
to the history of them, in cases where those reasons 
hold : and that it is by no means certain that there 
is any peculiar presumption at all, from analogy, even 
in the lowest degree, against Miracles, as distinguished 
from other extraordinary phenomena x ." 

x Analogy, P. n. ch. ii., ad Jin. 


Professor Powell's objection against Miracles is, 
in fact, practically that of the infidel Hume; who 
asserted "that no testimony for any kind of Mi- 
racle can ever possibly amount to a probability, 
much less to a proof." He argued that Miracles, 
being contrary to general experience, are incapa- 
ble of proof. He maintained also, (with Spinoza,) 
that Miracles, being contrary to the established 
laws of Nature, imply, in the very character of 
them, a palpable contradiction. This latter position 
seems to be identical with that adopted by Pro- 
fessor Powell. 

In a certain place, this author finds fault with " the 
too frequent assumption ... of the part of the .... 
Advocate, when the character to be sustained should 
be rather that of the unbiassed Judge" (p. 95.) But 
what are we to think of the judicial fairness of one 
who is not only Advocate and Judge in his own cause ; 
but who even turns the "Witnesses out of Court ; and 
will listen to no evidence, on the plea that it cannot 
be trustworthy ; or at least, that it shall be unavail- 
ing? "I express myself with caution," (says Bp. 
Butler, with reference to arguments against the cre- 
dibility of Eevelation,) " lest I should be mistaken 
to vilify Eeason ; which is indeed the only faculty we 
have wherewith to judge concerning anything, even 
Revelation itself : or be misunderstood to assert that 
a supposed revelation cannot be proved false, from 
internal characters. For it may contain clear immo- 
ralities, or contradictions ; and either of these would 
prove it false. Nor will I take upon me to affirm, 
that nothing else can possibly render any supposed 
revelation incredible. Yet still the observation is, I 
think, true beyond doubt ; that objections against 


Christianity ', as distinguished from objections against its 
evidence, are frivolous y ." 

That a certain occurrence or phenomenon " is due 
to supernatural causes," Professor Powell maintains is 
" entirely dependent on the previous belief and as- 
sumptions of the parties." (p. 107.) He forgets that 
he grounds his own denial of the possibility of a 
Miracle, on nothing stronger than "the nature of" 
his own "antecedent convictions." Thus, the ques- 
tion becomes merely a personal one between Mr. Baden 
Powell and the Apostles of CHRIST. The reasonable- 
ness of the "antecedent convictions" in the one case 
have to be set against the reasonableness of the "an- 
tecedent convictions" in the other. Either party, (ac- 
cording to this view,) has its own "previous belief 
and assumptions ;" which, in the one case, are known 
to have produced conviction; in the other, they are 
unhappily found to have resulted in a rejection of 
Miracles. But then it happens, unfortunately, that 
in the case of the Apostles and others, conviction of 
the truth of our LORD'S Miracles was based on know- 
ledge, and experience of a matter of fact : in the case of 
Professor Powell, disbelief is founded on certain " an- 
tecedent convictions" only: namely, "the inconceiv- 
ableness of imagined interruptions of natural Order, 
or supposed suspensions of the Laws of matter." (p. 
110.) He is never tired of repeating that "in an age 
of physical research like the present, all highly cul- 
tivated minds and duly advanced intellects (!) have 
imbibed, more or less, the lessons of the Induc- 
tive Philosophy ; and have, at least in some measure, 
learned to appreciate the grand foundation conception 
of universal Law:" (p. 133:) that "the entire range 
y Analogy, P. u. ch. iii., ad init. 


of the Inductive Philosophy is at once based upon, 
and in every instance tends to confirm, by immense 
accumulation of evidence, the grand truth of the 
universal Order and constancy of natural causes, as 
a primary law of belief; so strongly entertained and 
fixed in the mind of every truly inductive inquirer, 
that he cannot even conceive the possibility of its 
failure." (p. 109.) 

I gladly avail myself of a page from the writings 
of a thoughtful writer of our own, who, half a century 
ago, reviewed the very errors which are being so in- 
dustriously reproduced among ourselves at this day, 
certainly not with more ability than of old : " Let us 
examine a little farther into the weight of the argu- 
ment derived from the supposed immutability of the 
Laws of Nature. It has constantly been the theme 
of modern Unbelievers, that the course of Nature is 
fixed, eternal, unalterable; and that nothing which 
is supposed to violate it can possibly take place. Now, 
we may readily allow, that the course of Nature is un- 
alterable by human power ; nay, even by the power of 
any created being whatsoever. But the question is, 
Are these Laws unalterable ly Him who made them ? 
Proof of this is requisite, before the argument from the 
immutability of the Laws of Nature can have the least 
force. We may safely assert, however, that proof of 
this is absolutely impossible. ' Facts,' it may be said, 
1 daily passing before us, warrant us in supposing its 
laws to be unchangeable.' Perhaps so. But if a thou- 
sand or more facts have occurred, since the Creation 
of the "World, in which those Laws appear to have 
been over-ruled, or suspended, is such a conclusion 
then warrantable ? Even if there had never been 
a single instance of a Miracle recorded, since the 


Creation; yet the conclusion would not be just or 
logical, that no such thing is possible. But with such 
a multiplicity of instances to the contrary as are 
already on record, it is no better than a shameless 
assertion, in direct opposition to the evidence of men's 
senses and experience. Nay, more ; the argument is 
atheistical. For, either GOD made and ordained these 
Laws of Nature ; and may, consequently, at His plea- 
sure, unmake or suspend them : or else, these laws 
are self-framed, and Nature is independent of the GOD 
of Nature ; which is saying, in other words, that the 
material Universe is not governed by any Supreme 

" This latter opinion appears, indeed, to be the 
tenet of all who resort to arguments of this kind, in 
opposition to the credibility of Miracles. Thus it is 
said, [by Hume,] that every effect must have a cause ; 
and that, therefore, a Miracle must have a cause in 
Nature ; otherwise, it cannot be effected. But, is not 
the Will of GOD, without any other agency, or pre- 
disposing cause, sufficient for the purpose? When 
GOD created the "World out of nothing, what pre- 
existing cause was there, except His own omnipotent 
Will to produce the effect? Why then is not the 
same Will sufficient to work Miracles ? 

" < But,' says another Sophist, [Spinoza,] < GOD is 
the Author of the Laws of Nature ; so that whatever 
opposes those Laws, is necessarily repugnant to the 
Divine nature : if, therefore, we believe that GOD may 
act in a manner contrary to those laws, we, in effect, 
believe that He may do what is contrary to His own 
nature ; which is absurd and impossible.' 

"The reasoning turns upon the supposition that 
GOD is actuated by an absolute necessity of His Nature, 



and not by his Will : or, rather, that He hath neither 
Will, nor Intellect. Otherwise, it were easy to per- 
ceive, that in suspending the operation of His own 
Laws, GOD cannot be charged with doing anything 
contradictory to His own nature ; since He may justly 
be supposed to have as good reasons for departing from 
those Laws, as for framing them : and as we know not 
why He framed them in such a manner, and no other- 
wise ; so He may have the best and wisest reasons for 
the suspension of them, which it is not for us to call in 
question. To speak of the Supreme Being as actuated 
by a kind of physical necessity, and not by His Will, 
is to confound the GOD of Nature with Nature itself; 
which is the very essence of Atheism, and never can 
be reconciled with any just notions of the Deity, as 
a Being of intellectual and moral perfections 2 ." 

It is ly no means inconceivable, therefore, that the 
great Cause of Creation, and first Author of Law 
should interfere at any given time in the established 
Order of Nature. Moreover, it is irrational, on suffi- 
cient testimony, to disbelieve that He has sometimes 
so interposed. To deny that this is conceivable, is to 
make GOD inferior to His own decree ; to pronounce 
it incredible that the Lawgiver should be superior 
to His own Laws. " The universal subordination of 
causation," (p. 134,) we as freely admit as the Pro- 
fessor himself: but then we contend that everything 
else must be subordinate to the First great Cause of all. 
"Worse than unphilosophical is it to argue as the Pro- 
fessor presumes to do, concerning the MOST HIGH; 
but unphilosophical in the strictest sense it is. For 
it is to reason about Him, (the finite concerning the 

z Van Mildert's Historical View of the Rise and Progress of 
Infidelity, &c. Serm. xxi., (ed. 1806,) vol. ii. pp. 313-17. 


Infinite !) as if we understood Him ; we, who can 
barely decipher a little part of His works ! A few 
more remarks on this subject will be found in my 
viith Sermon. 

We are anxious to know if the whole of the case is 
really before us. A few more extracts from Professor 
Powell's Essay seem necessary to do full justice to his 
view of the matter : " All moral evidence must essen- 
tially have respect to the parties to be convinced. 
' Signs 7 might be adapted peculiarly to the state of 
moral or intellectual progress of one age, or one class of 
persons, and not be suited to that of others. . . . And it 
is to the entire difference in the ideas, prepossessions, 
modes, and grounds of belief in those times, that we 
may trace the reason why Miracles, which would be 
incredible now, were not so in the age, and under the 
circumstances, in which they are stated to have oc- 
curred." (p. 117.) ..." An evidential appeal which in 
a long past age was convincing, as made to the state 
of knowledge in that age*, might have not only no effect, 
but even an injurious tendency, if urged in the pre- 
sent, and referring to what is at variance with existing 
scientific conceptions ; just as the arguments of the 
present age would have been unintelligible to a former." 

"In a period of advanced physical knowledge, the 
reference to what was believed in past times, if at 
variance with principles now acknowledged, could af- 
ford little ground of appeal : in fact, would damage 
the argument rather than assist it." (p. 126.) 

" It becomes imperatively necessary, that such views 
should be suggested as may be really suitable to 

" Columbus' prediction of the eclipse to the native islanders, 
was as true an argument to them as if the event had really been 
supernatural." p. 115. 


better informed minds, and may meet the increasing 
demands of an age 'pretending at least to greater en- 
lightenment." (p. 126.) 

There is nothing in the additional suggestions thus 
thrown out which in reality affects the question at 
issue. Certain antecedent considerations were before 
insisted on, which (it was said) " must be paramount 
to all attestation." (p. 107.) These have been dis- 
posed of. The writer now tells us that he does not 
question " the honesty or veracity of the testimony, 
or the reality of the impressions on the minds of the 
witnesses." (p. 106.) It remains to inquire therefore 
to what natural causes, events which were once thought 
miraculous, may reasonably be referred ; since the so- 
called Miracles of the imperfectly- informed age of our 
LORD and His Apostles will not endure the scrutiny 
of the present age of scientific enlightenment. 

But this, unless it be a proposal to open the whole 
question afresh, to examine the Miracles themselves, 
to consider them one by one, to inquire into their 
exact nature, and to investigate their attendant cir- 
cumstances, is unmeaning. For we cannot, as reason- 
able men, dismiss a vast body of august events, differ- 
ing so considerably one from another, with a vague 
inuendo that there was probably " some kind of mis- 
take or deception somewhere, though we do not know 
where :" (p. 106 :) a hint that natural events may have 
been regarded as supernatural by an unscientific age, 
(which I believe was Schleiermacher's view :) and so 
forth. The two miraculous Draughts of fishes, the 
Stater found in the fish's mouth, the stilling of the 
Storm, might perhaps, by a little rhetorical sophis- 
try, in unscrupulous hands, be so disposed of. But 
the Creative Power displayed on the two occasions of 


a miraculous feeding of thousands, the giving of sight 
to a man born blind, the calling of Lazarus out 
of the grave where he had been for four days buried ; 
these are transactions which resist every attempt of 
the enemy to explain away, as unscientific miscon- 
ceptions. They may be powerless to produce con- 
viction in some now, as they were powerless to pro- 
duce conviction in some then : but they cannot be set 
aside by an insinuation. There could not have been 
any mistake when the Five Thousand were fed with 
five loaves, and twelve baskets full were gathered up ; 
or when the Four Thousand were fed with seven 
loaves, and fragments enough to fill seven baskets 
remained over b . There was no room for deception in 
the case of the man born blind ; for that case imme- 
diately underwent a judicial scrutiny . Lazarus bound 
hand and foot with grave-clothes required that the 
bystanders should " loose him and let him go d :" but 
from that moment, neither supposed scientific neces- 
sity, nor antecedent considerations, nor the ordinary 
course of Nature, nor any other creature, will avail to 
bind him any more ! 

This may suffice on the subject of Professor Powell's 
Essay. On the great question itself, I have said 
something in my Seventh Sermon, to which the 
reader is requested to refer. The performance now 
under consideration abounds in incorrect statements, 
while it revives not a few exploded objections ; but 
I have considered the only points in it which are 

Thus the author assumes " that, unlike the essential 
Doctrines of Christianity, ' the same yesterday, to- 

b St. Mark viii. 19, 20. c St. John ix. d St. John xi. 44. 


day, and for ever,' these external accessories, [Miracles, 
for example,] constitute a subject which of necessity 
is perpetually taking somewhat at least of a new form, 
with the successive phases of opinion and knowledge." 
(p. 94.) But, (waiving for the moment the impos- 
sibility of severing the Doctrines of the Gospel from 
the miraculous evidence that our LORD was a Teacher 
sent from Heaven e , it requires no ability to perceive 
that although " opinion" should alter daily, and 
" knowledge" increase ever so much, yet, events pro- 
fessing to be miraculous, being plain matters of fact, 
are to-day exactly what and where they were many 
centuries ago. Physical Science may pretend (with 
Paulus) to explain them on natural principles, truly ; 
and while she does so, the ^orid is sure to give her 
a patient, even an indulgent hearing. But then she 
must let it be known what she proposes to explain, 
and how she proposes to explain it. She must be so 
indulgent also, as to listen while we, in turn, shew 
her on what grounds we find it impossible to accept 
her Theory. " The inevitable progress of research," 
(says this author,) " must, within a longer or shorter 
period, unravel all that seems most marvellous ; and 
what is at present least understood will become as 
familiarly known to the Science of the future, as those 
points which a few centuries ago, were involved in 
equal obscurity, but are now thoroughly understood." 
(p. 109.) Such a vaticination as regards Miracles, 
is, to say the least, premature ; and until it can ap- 
peal to incipient accomplishment, it must be regarded 

e Consider St. John iii. 2, (referring to ii. 23 and iv. 45.) So 
ix. 16: x. 21 and 38: xiv. 10, 11. Also xv. 24; and consider 
St. Luke vii. 16: also 21, 22: St. Matth. xii. 22, 23: St. John 
vii. 31 : xii. 1719. 


as nugatory also. I am not aware, 'that as yet one 
single Miracle has' been struck off the list ; yet Mira- 
cles have now been before the world a long time, and 
they have not wanted enemies either. 

To begin Divinity with a discussion of the " Evi- 
dences," we do indeed hold to be a beginning at the 
wrong end. At the same time, all of Professor Powell's 
opening remarks, in which he insinuates that the 
Church would bar, or would stifle discussion concern- 
ing the evidences of Eeligion, are obviously untrue. 
No scrutiny of Christian Miracles, however rigid, is 
stopped by the admonition that such narratives " ought 
to be held sacred, and exempt from the unhallowed 
criticism of human Keason." (p. 110.) We do not, 
by any means, " treat all objections as profane, and 
discard exceptions unanswered as shocking and im- 
moral." (p. 100.) Neither does the Church think 
herself "omniscient and infallible;" (p, 96;) though 
she holds Omniscience to be an attribute of GOD ; and 
Infallibility, of the Bible. But she deprecates in the 
strongest manner vague insinuations and unsupported 
doubts of the reality of her LORD'S Miracles, sown 
broad-cast over the land; and she is at a loss to 
understand how the " difficulties" of any, can be in 
this manner "removed;" (p. 96;) except by a pro- 
cess analogous to that which would cure a malady by 
taking away the life of the patient. "We are not in fact 
at all disposed to admit that "Miracles, which in 
the estimation of a former age were among the chief 
supports of Christianity, are at present among the 
main difficulties, and hindrances to its acceptance," 
(p, 140,) although Professor Powell and Dr. Temple 
say so. 

This Essay in fact is full of incorrect, or objection- 


able statements. Thus Professor Powell asserts that 
since " evidential arguments are avowedly addressed to 
the intellect, it is especially preposterous to shift the 
ground, and charge the rejection of them on moral 
motives." (p. 100.) And yet it is worthy of notice 
that our LORD Himself assures us that the reception 
of Truth depends on our moral, rather than on our 
intellectual condition. "How can ye believe," (He 
said to the Jews,) "which receive honour one of 
another, and seek not the honour that cometh from 
GOD only f ?" 

This writer reasons also with singular laxity and 
inaccuracy. After quoting the dictum that " on a 
certain amount of testimony we might believe any 
statement, however improbable," (pp. 140-1,) he scorn- 
fully adds ; " So that if a number of respectable wit- 
nesses were to concur in asseverating that on a certain 
occasion they had seen two and two make five, we 
should be bound to believe them !" (p. 141.) Does 
he fail to perceive, (1) that mathematical truths do 
not come within the province of probable reasoning, 
and (2) are not dependent on testimony ? . . . . Again, 
" The case of the antecedent argument of Miracles 

f St. John v. 44. Comp. vii. 17: viii. 12. St. Matth. y. 8. 
Ps. xix. 8 : cxix. 100. Also, Ecclus. i. 26 : xxi. 11." There is," 
(says an excellent living writer,) " scarcely any doctrine or precept 
of our SAVIOUR more distinctly and strongly stated, than that the 
capacity for judging of, and for believing the Truths of Christianity, 
depends upon Moral Goodness, and the practice of Virtue." Let us 
hear our own Hooker on this subject : " We find by experience 
that although Faith be an intellectual habit of the mind, and have 
her seat in the understanding, yet an evil moral disposition obsti- 
nately wedded to the love of darkness dampeth the very light of 
heavenly illumination, and permitteth not the Mind to see what 
doth shine before it." Eccl. Pol., B. v. c. Ixiii. 2. 


is very clear, however little some are inclined to per- 
ceive it. In Nature and from Nature, by Science and 
by Eeason, we neither have nor can possibly have any 
evidence of a Deity working ~by Miracles ; for that, we 
must go out of Nature, and beyond Science." (pp. 
141-2.) Very true. We must go to Scripture. We 
must have recourse to testimony. This is precisely 

what we are maintaining But, " Testimony, 

after all, is but a second-hand assurance; it is but 
a blind guide ; testimony can avail nothing against 
Eeason." (p. 141.) True. But this, if it is intended 
as an argument against the reasonableness of admit- 
ting the truth of Miracles, is a mere petitio principii. 
.... Again. "It is not the mere fact but the cause 
or explanation of it, which is the point at issue." (p. 
141.) Admitting then, as the learned author here 
does, that when CHRIST said " Lazarus, come forth," 
" he that was dead," (though he had been buried four 
days,) " came forth, bound hand and foot with grave- 
clothes^" admitting these "facts," I say, what 
other " cause," or " explanation" does the reverend 
gentleman propose to assign but the supernatural power 
of the Divine Speaker ? 

Far graver exception, however, must be taken 
against certain parts of Professor Powell's labours, 
which betray an animus fatally indicative of the ten- 
dency of such Essays and Keviews as these. Wit- 
ness his assertion that "it is now acknowledged that 
' Creation ' is only another name for our ignorance 
of the mode of production;" (p. 139;) and that a re- 
cent work on the Origin of Species " substantiates on 
undeniable grounds the very principle so long de- 

9 St. John xi. 44. 


nounced by the first naturalists, the origination of 
new Species ~by natural causes ;" (p. 139 ;) and that the 
said work "must soon bring about an entire revo- 
lution of opinion in favour of the grand principle of 
the self-evolving poivers of Nature" (p. 139.) 

One object of the present Essay is to insist that 
since Miracles belong to the world of matter, " we 
must recognize the due claims of Science to decide " 
upon them. We are reminded that "beyond the do- 
main of physical causation and the possible conceptions 
of intellect or knowledge, there lies open the boundless 
region of spiritual things, which is the sole dominion 
of Faith :" (p. 127 :) and that " Advancing knowledge, 
while it asserts the dominion of Science in physical 
things, confirms that of Faith in spiritual." (p. 127.) 
It is proposed that " we thus neither impugn the gene- 
ralizations of Philosophy, nor allow them to invade 
the dominion of Faith ; and admit that what is not a 
subject for a problem, may hold its place in a Creed." 
(p. 127.) 

But the fatal consequences of this plausible fallacy 
become apparent the instant we turn the leaf, and 
read that " the more knowledge advances, the more 
it has been, and will be acknowledged, that Chris- 
tianity, as a real religion, must be viewed apart from 
connexion with physical things." (p. 128.) That " the 
first dissociation of the spiritual from the physical 
was rendered necessary by the palpable contradictions 
disclosed by astronomical discovery with the letter 
of Scripture. Another still wider and more material 
step has been effected by the discoveries of Geology. 
More recently, the antiquity of the Human Eace, and 
the development of Species, and the rejection of the 
idea of ' Creation 7 (!) have caused new advances in the 


same direction." (p. 129.) .... From this it is evident, 
not only that the object of Science in thus taking the 
Miracles of Scripture into her own keeping, is (like 
an unnatural step-dame) to slay them ; but that down- 
right Atheism is to be the attitude in which men 
are expected to survey that "boundless region of spi- 
ritual things" which is yet proclaimed to be "the sole 
dominion of Faith !" 

Faith, on the other hand, does not object to the 
constant visits of Science to any part of her treasure. 
She does but insist that all discussion shall be con- 
ducted according to the rules of right Reason. Yague 
insinuations about "a progressing Age," (p. 131,) 
"new modes of speculation," (p. 130,) "the advance 
of Opinion," (p. 131,) and so forth, are as little to 
the purpose, apart from specific objections, as sneers at 
"the one-sided dogmas of an obsolete school, coupled 
with awful denunciations of heterodoxy on all who 
refuse to listen to them," (p. 131,) are unsuited to 
the gravity of the occasion. Faith insists moreover 
that a divorce between the miraculous parts of Scrip- 
ture, and the context wherein they stand, is simply 
impossible. The unbeliever who boldly says, " I dis- 
believe the Bible," however much we may deplore 
his blindness and pity his misery, is yet intelligible 
in his unbelief. But the man who proposes to believe 
the narrative of the Exode of Israel from Egypt, (for 
instance,) apart from the supernatural character of the 
events which are related to have attended it; who 
believes the history of the Gospels, (holding the Evan- 
gelists to have been veracious writers,) yet rejects the 
Divine nature of the Miracles which the Gospels re- 
late ; and proposes, after eliminating from the historical 
narrative everything which claims to be miraculous, 


to make what remains of that historical narrative, the 
strength and stay of his soul in life and in death : 
that man we boldly affirm to be one who cannot have 
studied the Bible with that ordinary attention which 
would entitle him to dogmatize concerning its con- 
tents : or else, whose logical faculty must be so hope- 
lessly defective that discussions of this class are evi- 
dently not his proper province. 

Finally, we are presented in this Essay with the 
same offensive assumption of intellectual superiority 
on the part of the writer, which disfigures the entire 
volume. " It becomes imperatively necessary that views 
should be suggested really suitable to better informed 
minds" (p. 126.) " Points which may be seen to in- 
volve the greatest difficulty to more profound inquirer s, 
are often such as do not occasion the least perplexity 
to ordinary minds, but are allowed to pass without 
hesitation." (p. 125.) (And this, from one of those 
" profound inquirers," one of " those who have re- 
flected most deeply," (p. 126,) who yet cannot get 
beyond a resuscitation of Hume and Spinoza's ex- 
ploded objections to the truth of Miracles !) Butler's 
unanswerable arguments, (for the allusion is evidently 
to him,) are spoken of as "a few trite and common- 
place generalities as to the moral government of the 
World and the belief in the Divine Omnipotence ; or 
as to the validity of human testimony ; or the limits 
of human experience." (p. 133.) And yet the author 
is for ever informing us that his hostility to Miracles 
" is essentially built upon those grander conceptions of 
the order of Nature, those comprehensive primary ele- 
ments of all physical knowledge, those ultimate ideas 
of universal causation, which can only be familiar to 
those thoroughly versed in cosmical philosophy in its 


widest sense." (p. 133.) "All highly cultivated minds, 
and duly advanced intellects" are supposed to find 
their exponent in Professor Baden Powell. All other 
thinkers have " minds of a less comprehensive capa- 
city," " accustomed to reason on more contracted views." 
(p. 133. See also p. 131, top.) Is this the modesty 
of real Science? the language of a true Philosopher 
and Divine ? 

Finally, after all that has gone before we are not 
much astonished, but we are considerably shocked, 
to read as follows : " The Divine Omnipotence is 
entirely an inference from the language of the Bible, 
adopted on the assumption of a belief in Eevelation. 
That 'with GOD nothing is impossible' is the very 
declaration of Scripture ; yet on this, the whole belief 
in Miracles is built h ." Now, it happens that 'the 
whole belief in Miracles ' is built on nothing of the 
kind : but the point is immaterial. By no means im- 
material, however, is the intimation that the Divine 
attribute of Omnipotence is a mere inference from the 
language of Eevelation, the very belief in which is 
also a mere " assumption." If belief in Holy Scripture 
is to be treated as an assumption, without at all com- 
plaining of the unreasonableness of one who so speaks, 
we yet desire that he would say it very plainly; 
and let us know at least with whom we have to do, 
and what we are expected to prove. We do not com- 
plain, if any one calls upon us to shew that a belief 
in the Bible cannot be called an assumption; but it 
makes us very sad: and when the challenge comes 
from a Minister of the Church, we are unable to for- 
bear the remark that there is something altogether 

h P. 113. The italics are in the original. 


immoral * in the entire proceeding. On the other hand, 
to find ourselves involved in an argument on questions 
of Divinity with one who believes nothing, is in a man- 
ner absurd ; and provokes a feeling of resentment as 
well as of pity. . . . "What need to add that life is not 
long enough for such processes of proof? "He that 
cometh unto GOD must believe that He is /" "We can- 
not be for ever laying the foundation. The building 
must begin, at last, to grow. And when it has grown 
up, and is compact as well as beautiful, it cannot be 
necessary to pull it all down again once or twice in 
every century in order to ascertain whether the strong 
foundations be still there ! 

IV. The next performance is mainly directed against 
faith in the Church, as a society of Divine origin. 
" The Rev. HENRY BEJSTOW WILSON, B.D., Yicar of 
Great Staughton, Hunts," claims that a National 
Church shall be regarded as a purely secular Insti- 
tution, the spontaneous development of the State. 
" If all priests and ministers of religion could at one 
moment be swept from the face of the Earth, they 
would soon be reproduced 15 ." The Church is con- 
cerned with Ethics, not with Divinity. It should 
therefore be " free from dogmatic tests, and similar 
intellectual bondage:" (p. 168 :) hampered by no 
traditional Doctrines ; pledged to no Creeds : but, on 
the contrary, should be subject to periodical doctrinal 

1 See the Quarterly Review, (on Prof. Baden Powell's "Order 
.of Nature,") f o r Oct. 1859, (No. 212,) pp. 420-3. 

k p. 169. " Priests have neither been, as some would represent, 
a set of deliberate conspirators against the free thoughts of mankind ; 
nor, on the other hand," &c. Ibid. How partial becomes the judg- 
ment, when we have to discuss the merits of our own order ! 


re-adjustments. " Doctrinal limitations " (i.e. the 
Creeds) " are not essential to " the Church. " Upon 
larger knowledge of Christian history, upon a more 
thorough acquaintance with the mental constitution 
of man, upon an understanding of the obstacles they 
present to a true Catholicity (!), they may be cast off." 
(p. 167.) "In order to the possibility of recruiting 
any national Ministry from the whole of the nation, 
.... no needless intellectual or speculative obstacles 
should be interposed." (p. 196. So at p. 198.) 

To all this, the answer is very obvious. Viewed as 
an historical fact, the Church is not of human origin. 
The Church is a Divine Institution. That a Priest of 
the Church, charged with a cure of souls, should de- 
sire her annihilation, the reversal of the facts of her 
past History, her reconstruction on an unheard-of 
basis, without even Creeds as terms of communion 
with her, and so forth; all this may suggest some 
very painful doubts as to the objector's honesty in con- 
tinuing to employ the formularies of that Church, and 
in professing to teach her doctrines; but it can 
hardly be supposed to have any effect whatever on 
the question at issue. 

Foreseeing this, Mr. "Wilson begins by asserting, 
(for to insinuate is not for so advanced a disciple of 
"the negative Theology,") (p. 151,) " the fact of 
a very wide-spread alienation, both of educated and 
uneducated persons, from the Christianity which is 
ordinarily presented in our Churches and Chapels." 
(p. 150.) "A self-satisfied Sacerdotalism, confident 
in a supernaturally transmitted illumination," may 
amuse itself in trying to " keep peace within the 
walls of emptied Churches :" (p. 150 :) but the day 
for " traditional Christianity" (p. 149.) has gone by. 



"We may no longer ignore " a great extent of dissatis- 
faction on the part of the Clergy at some portion, 
at least, of formularies of the Church of England," 
especially at the use of "one unhappy creed." 
(p. 150.) There has been " a spontaneous recoil" 
from some of the old doctrines : a distrust of the old 
arguments : and a misgiving concerning Scripture 
itself. " In the presence of difficulties of this kind, 
... it is vain to seek to check open discussion." 
(p. 151.) 

"Why then does not this man proceed openly to 
discuss? is the obvious rejoinder. Instead of vaguely 
hinting that either the Eeason or the Moral sense is 
shocked by what people hear " in our Churches and 
Chapels," why has not this writer, first, the honesty 
to withdraw from the Ministry of the Church of Eng- 
land ; and next, the courage to indicate the particular 
doctrines which offend ? To say that " the ordinances 
of public worship and religious instruction provided 
for the people of England" are not "really adapted to 
the wants of their nature as it is," (p. 150,) is a very 
vague and unworthy style of urging an objection. 
"Why does not the reverend writer explain wherein the 
Doctrine and Discipline of the English Church are not 
really adapted to the actual wants of Man's nature ? 

Let every unbeliever however be allowed to state 
his difficulties in his own way. Mr. Wilson's diffi- 
culties certainly take a very peculiar shape. The 
increased Geographical knowledge of the present gene- 
ration has evidently disturbed his faith. " In our 
own boyhood, the World as known to the ancients 
was nearly all which was known to ourselves (!). We 
have recently become acquainted, intimate, with 
the teeming regions of the far East, and with empires, 


pagan or even atheistic, of which the origin runs far 
back beyond the historic records of Judaea or of the 
West, and which were more populous than all Christen- 
dom now is, for many ages before the Christian era." 
(p. 152.) Such a statement is soon made; but it 
ought to have been substantiated. I take the liberty 
of doubting its accuracy. 

But granting even that the heathen world " for 
many ages before the Christian era" was more popu- 
lous than all Christendom now is : what then ? 
This fact " suggests questions to those who on Sundays 
hear the reading and exposition of the Scriptures as 
they were expounded to our forefathers, and on Mon- 
day peruse the news of a World of which our fore- 
fathers little dreamed." (pp. 152-3.) And pray, (we 
calmly inquire,) Why are the Scriptures to be read or 
expounded after a novel fashion, even though our 
geographical knowledge has made a considerable ad- 
vance? To this, we are favoured with no answer. 
The " questions" suggested are, we presume, the same 
which are contained in the following sentence. " In 
what relation does the Gospel stand to these millions" 1 ? 
Is there any trace on the face of its records that it 
even contemplated their existence n ? We are told, 
that to know and believe in JESUS CHRIST is in some 
sense necessary to Salvation. It has not been given 
to these. Are they, will they be, hereafter, the 
worse off for their ignorance?" (p. 153.) . . . "As to 
the necessity of faith in a SAVIOUR to these peoples 

m Ans. Clearly in the relation of a blessing which has by all 
means to be communicated to them. 

n Ans. Certainly there is. Those which most obviously present 
themselves are such as the following : St.Matth. ix. 37, 38 : xxviii. 
19, 20. St. Luke xxiv. 47. Acts ii. 38, 39, &c. 

f 2 


when they could never have had it, no one, upon 
reflection, can believe in any such thing. Doubtless 
they will be equitably dealt with." (p. 153.) 

These last seven words, (which scarcely seem of 
a piece with the rest of the sentence,) we confess have 
always seemed a sufficient answer to the badly- 
expressed speculative difficulty which immediately 
precedes; a difficulty, be it observed, which does 
not depend at all on the popular advancement of 
Geographical knowledge; for it was urged with the 
self-same force anciently, as now; and was met by 
Bp. Butler, almost in the self-same words , upwards 
of a hundred years ago. But Mr. "Wilson to our 
surprise and sorrow proceeds : " We cannot be con- 
tent to wrap this question up and leave it for a mys- 
tery, as to what shall become of those myriads upon 
myriads of non- Christian races. First, if our tradi- 
tions tell us, that they are involved in the curse and 
perdition of Adam, and may justly be punished here- 
after individually for his transgression, not having 
been extricated from it by saving faith, we are dis- 
posed to think that our traditions cannot herein fairly 
declare to us the words and inferences from Scripture ; 
but if on examination it should turn out that they 
have, we must say, that the authors of the Scriptural 
books have, in those matters, represented to us their 
own inadequate conceptions, and not the mind of the 
SPIRIT of GOD." (pp. 153-4.) 

I forbear to dwell upon the grievous spectacle with 
which we are thus presented. Here is a Clergyman 
of the Church of England deliberately proposing the 
following dilemma: Either the Prayer Book is in- 
correct in its most important doctrinal inferences from 

Analogy, P. n. c. vi. 


Holy Scripture; or else, the Authors of Holy Scrip- 
ture itself are incorrect in their statements. The 
morality of one who declares that he finds himself 
placed between the horns of this dilemma, and yet 
retains his office as a public teacher in the Church of 
England, it is painful to contemplate. But this is 
only ad hominem. The Eeverend writer's difficulty 

And it seems sufficient to reply : It is not we who 
" wrap up the question," but GOD. As a mystery we 
find it ; and as a mystery, we not only " can," but must 
be content to " leave it." Further, it is not " our tradi- 
tions" but Holy Scripture itself which tells us that 
" by one man Sin entered into the World, and Death 
by Sin ; and so Death passed upon all men, for that 
all have sinned p :" that " in Adam all died q :" that 
" we were by nature the children of wrath, even as 
others':" and the like. Scripture, on the other hand, 
as unequivocally assures us that GOD is good, or rather 
that He is very Goodness. We are convinced, (in 
Mr. Wilson's words,) " that all shall be equitably 
dealt with according to their opportunities." (p. 154.) 
Moreover, he would be a rash Divine who should ven- 
ture to adopt the opinion so strenuously disclaimed by 
Bp. Butler, "that none can have the benefit of the 
general Eedemption, but such as have the advantage 
of being made acquainted with it in the present life s ." 
How, in the meantime, speculative difficulties con- 
cerning the hereafter of the unevangelized Heathen are 
affected by the fact that our population now "peruse 
the news of a World of which our forefathers little 
dreamed," (pp. 152-3,) it is hard to see. Equally 

p Kom. v. 12. q 1 Cor. xv. 22. r Eph. ii. 3. 

' Analogy, P. u. c. v. note (d). 


unable am I also to understand how the discovery 
that a larger number of persons are the subjects of 
this speculative difficulty than used once to be sup- 
posed, can constitute any reason why Scripture should 
not still be read and expounded on Sunday "as it 
used to be expounded to our forefathers." 

We have been so particular, because whenever any 
of these writers condescend to be argumentative, we 
are eager to bear them company. No wish at all 
have we, in the abstract, to stifle inquiry; no objec- 
tion whatever have we to the principle of free dis- 
cussion. And yet, as a clergyman, I cannot discuss 
such questions as these with a Minister of the Church 
of England, except under protest. I deny that these 
are in any sense open questions. To dispute concern- 
ing them, el p,rj Oea-iv diatyvXarTcov, one of the 
disputants must first, at least, resign his commission. 
It is simply dishonest in a man to hold a commission 
in the Church of England, under solemn vows, and 
yet to deny her doctrines. An Officer in the Army 
who should pursue a similar line of action, would be 
dismissed the Service, or worse. Under protest, 
then, we follow the Eev. H. B. Wilson, B.D. 

Next come three other specimens "of the modern 
questionings of traditional Christianity," "whereby 
observers are rendered dissatisfied with old modes 
of speaking:" (p. 156:) viz. (1) St. Paul "speaks of 
the Gospel ' which was preached to every nation (sic) 
under heaven/ when it has never yet been preached 
to the half 1 ." (2) "Then, again, it has often been 
appealed to as an evidence of the supernatural origin 
of Christianity, and as an instance of supernatural 
assistance vouchsafed to it in the first centuries, that 

* Col. i. 23. p. 155. 


it so soon overspread the world :" (p. 155 :) whereas " it 
requires no learning to be aware that neither then 
nor subsequently have the Christians amounted to a 
fourth part of the people of the Earth." (Ibid.) (3) 
So again, " it has been customary to argue that, 
a priori, a supernatural Eevelation was to be expected 
at the time when JESUS CHRIST was manifested upon 
the Earth, by reason of the exhaustion of all natural 
or unassisted human efforts for the amelioration of 
mankind;" (pp. 155-6;) whereas " our recently en- 
larged Ethnographical information shews such an 
argument to be altogether inapplicable to the case." 
" It would be more like the realities of things, as we 
can now behold them, to say that the Christian Eeve- 
lation was given to the Western World, because it de- 
served it better and was more prepared for it than the 
East." (p. 156.) The remedy for the first of these 
difficulties (says Mr. Wilson,) is, " candidly to acknow- 
ledge that the words of the New Testament which 
speak of the preaching of the Gospel to the whole 
world, were limited to the understanding of the times 
when they were spoken." The suggestions of our own 
moral instincts are rather to be followed, " than the 
express declarations of Scripture writers, who had no 
such knowledge as is given to ourselves of the am- 
plitude of the World." (p. 157.) 

For my own part, I see not how Mr. Wilson's pro- 
posed remedy meets the case ; unless he means to say 
that in the time of St. Paul the Gospel had been 
literally preached to the whole World as far as the 
World was then known. If not, it is clear that re- 
course must be had to some other expedient. Instead 
then of the " candid acknowledgment" required of us 
by the learned writer, may we be allowed to suggest 
to him the more prosaic expedient (1st) of making 


sure that he quotes Scripture accurately ; and (2nd) 
that he understands it ? ... It happens that St. Paul 
does not use the words " every nation under heaven" 
as Mr. "Wilson inadvertently supposes. The Apostle's 
phrase, Trdo-y rrj KricreL, in Colossians i. 23, (as in St. 
Mark xvi. 15), means < to the whole Creation,' or 
' every creature;' (the article is doubtful;) in other 
words, he announces the universality of the Gospel, 
as contrasted with the Law ; and he explains that it 
had been preached to the Heathen as well as to the 
Jews. Our increased knowledge therefore has no- 
thing whatever to do with the question ; and the sup- 
posed difficulty disappears. The two which remain, 
being (according to the same writer,) merely incorrect 
inferences of Biblical critics, need not, it is presumed, 
be regarded as insurmountable either. 

Following Mr. "Wilson through his successive va- 
garies of religious (?) thought, we come upon a suc- 
cession of strange statements ; the object of which 
seems to be to cast a slur on Doctrine generally, 
The doctrine of Justification by faith " is not met 
with .*. . . in the Apostolic writings, except those of St. 
Paul." (p. 160.) [A minute exception truly !]. " Then, 
on the other hand, it is maintained by a large body 
of Theologians, as by the learned Jesuit Petavius and 
many others, that the doctrine afterwards developed 
into the Mcene and Athanasian, is not to be found 
explicitly in the earliest fathers, nor even in Scripture, 
although provable by it." (p. 160.) [Would it not 
have been fair, however, to state what appears to have 
been the design of Petavius therein 11 ? and should it 
not have been added that our own Bishop Bull in his im- 
mortal " Defensio Fidei Mcsense" established the very 
reverse " out of the writings of the Catholic Doctors 
u See Nelson's Life of Bp. Bull, p. 245. 


who flourished within the first three centuries of the 
Christian Church x ?"] " The nearer we come to the 
original sources of the History, the less definite do we 
find the statements of Doctrines, and even of the facts 
from which the Doctrines were afterwards inferred." 
(p. 160.) " In the patristic writings, theoretics as- 
sume continually an increasingly disproportionate value. 
Even within the compass of our New Testament, there 
is to be found already a wonderful contrast between 
the words of our LORD and such a discourse as the 
Epistle to the Hebrews." (pp. 160-1.) [What a curi- 
ous discovery, by the way, that an argumentative 
Epistle should differ in style from an historical Gos- 
pel !] "Our LORD'S Discourses," (continues this 
writer,) "have almost all of them a direct Moral 
bearing." (p. 161.) [The case of St. John's Gospel 
immediately recurs to our memory. And it seems to 
have occurred to Mr. Wilson's also. He says : ] 
" This character of His words is certainly more ob- 
vious in the first three Gospels than in the fourth ; 
and the remarkable unison of those Gospels, when 
they recite the LORD'S words, notwithstanding their 
discrepancies in some matters of fact, compels us to 
think, that they embody more exact traditions of what 
He actually said than the fourth does" (p. 161.) [In 
other words, the authenticity of St. John's Gospel 7 is 

* See Kelson's Life ofJBp. Bull, p. 242. 

y " The horizon which his view embraced was much narrower 
than St. Paul's," who had enlarged his mind by foreign travel, 
(p. 168.) 

In a note, we are informed that " at any rate his Gospel cannot, 
by external evidence, be attached to the person (!) of St. John as its 
author." "Many persons," (it is added,) " shrink from a ~bona,fide 
examination of the * Gospel question,' because they imagine, that 
unless the four Gospels are received as ... entirely the composition 
of the persons whose names they bear, and without any admixture 


to be suspected rather than the worthlessness of the 
speculations of the Yicar of Great Staughton !] 

The object of three pages which follow (pp. 162-5.) 
seems to be to shew that in the Apostolic Age, Im- 
morality of life was more severely dealt with, even 
than erroneousness of Doctrine. Except because the 
writer is eager to depreciate the value of orthodoxy 
of belief, and to cast a slur on doctrinal standards 
generally, it is hard to see why he should write 
thus. Let him be reminded however that our SAVIOUR 
makes Faith itself a moral, not an intellectual habit 2 ; 
and, (if it be not an uncivil remark,) what but an 
immoral spectacle does a Clergyman present who 
openly inculcates distrust of these very Doctrines 
which he has in the most solemn manner pledged 
himself to uphold and maintain ? 

And thus we come back to the theme originally 
proposed. "A national Church," we are informed, 
"need not, historically speaking, be Christian (!) ; 
nor, if it be Christian, need it be tied down to par- 
ticular forms which have been prevalent at certain 
times in Christendom (!). That which is essential to 
a National Church is, that it should undertake to as- 
sist the spiritual progress of the nation and of the 
individuals of which it is composed, in their several 
states and stages. Not even a Christian Church 

of legendary matter or embellishment in their narratives, the only 
alternative is to suppose a fraudulent design in those who did com- 
pose them." (p. 161.) .... May one who has not shrunk from 
* the Gospel question' be permitted to regret that the Reverend 
writer has not specified the charges which he thus vaguely brings 
against the Gospels? What, pray, is the legendary matter; and 
which are the embellishments ? 

In the same page we read of " the first, or genuine, epistle of 
St. Peter." Is not his second epistle genuine, then ? 

z See above, p. Iviii. 


should expect all those who are brought under its 
influence to be, as a matter of fact, of one and the 
same standard; but should endeavour to raise each 
according to his capacities, and should give no occasion 
for a reaction against itself, nor provoke the indi- 
vidualist element into separation." (p. 173.) Of what 
sort the Ministers of such a " chartered libertine" are 
to prove, may be anticipated. " Thought and speech, 
which are free among all other classes," must be free 
also " among those who hold the office of leaders and 
teachers of 'the rest in the highest things." The 
Ministers of the Church ought not "to be bound to 
cover up, but to open; and having, it is presumed, 
possession of the key of knowledge, ought not to stand 
at the door with it, permitting no one to enter unless 
by force. A National Church may also find itself in 
this position, which, perhaps, is our own." (p. 174.) 
"What a charming picture of the duties and the method 
of that class to which the Yicar of Great Staughton 
himself belongs ! . . . The writer proceeds to set an 
example of that freedom of inquiry which he vindi- 
cates as the privilege of his Order ; and without which 
he is apprehensive of being left isolated between " the 
fanatical religionist," (p. 174,) (i. e. the man who be- 
lieves the truths he teaches,) and " the negative theo- 
logian," (i.e. those who, " impatient of old fetters, 
follow free thought heedlessly wherever it may lead 
them." (Ibid.) " The freedom of opinion a ," (he says,) 

a " Pleas for ' liberty of conscience' and ' freedom of opinion,' " 
(as an excellent writer has recently pointed out,) " can have 
neither place nor pretext, while there is liberty, for all who choose, 
to decline joining the Church of England ; and freedom, for all 
who choose, to leave her" Rev. C. Forster's ' Spinoza Redivivus/ 
(1861,) p. 6. 


" which belongs to the English citizen should be con- 
ceded to the English Churchman; and the freedom 
which is already practically enjoyed by the members 
of the congregation, cannot without injustice be denied 
to its ministers." (p. 180.) Let us see how the Ke- 
verend Gentleman exercises the license which he 
claims : 

The phrase " Word of GOD," (he says,) is unau- 
thorized and begs the question. The epithet " Canon- 
ical" " may mean either books ruled and determined 
by the Church, or regulation books ; and the employ- 
ment of it in the Article hesitates between these two 
significations." (p. 175.) The declaration of the sixth 
Article simply implies " the Word of GOD is contained 
in Scripture ; whence it does not follow that it is co- 
extensive with it." (p. 176.) " Under the terms of the 
Sixth Article one may accept literally, or allegorically, 
or as parable, or poetry, or legend, the story of a 
serpent-tempter, of an ass speaking with man's voice, 
of an arresting the earth's motion, of a reversal of its 
motion b , of waters standing in a solid heap, of witches, 
and a variety of apparitions. So under the terms of 
the Sixth Article, every one is free in judgment as to 
the primeval institution of the Sabbath, the univer- 
sality of the Deluge, the confusion of tongues, the 
corporeal taking up of Elijah into Heaven, the nature 
of Angels, the reality of demoniacal possession, the 
personality of Satan, and the miraculous particulars of 
many events." (p. 177.) " Good men," we are as- 
sured; (the Inspired Writers being the good men 

b In what part of the Bible, (one begs respectfully to inquire,) 
is one called upon to " accept the story of an arresting of the Earth's 
motion, or of a reversal of its motion ?" . . . Would it not be as well 
to be truthful in one's references to the Bible ? 


intended ;) " may err in facts, be weak in memory, 
mingle imaginations with memory, be feeble in in- 
ferences, confound illustration with argument, be vary- 
ing in judgment and opinion." (p. 179.) [A " free 
handling" this, of the work of the HOLY GHOST, truly ! 
.... It would, I suppose, be deemed very unreason- 
able to wish that a catalogue of facts misstated, of 
slips of memory, of imaginary details, of feeble in- 
ferences, of instances of logical confusion, and so 
forth, had been subjoined by the Keverend writer. 
I will only observe concerning his method that such 
" frank criticism of Scripture" (p. 174.) as this, is 
dogmatism of the most disreputable kind : insinuating 
what it does not state ; assuming what it ought to 
prove ; asserting in the general what it may be defied 
to substantiate in particular.] It follows, " But the 
spirit of absolute Truth cannot err or contradict Him- 
self ; if He speak immediately, even in small things, 
accessories, or accidents." (p. 179.) To this we en- 
tirely agree. "Where then are the " errors ?" and 
where the " contradictions ?" 

We cannot " suppose Him to suggest contradictory 
accounts :" [not contradictory, of course ; because con- 
tradictories cannot both be true :] "or accounts only 
to be reconciled in the way of hypothesis and conjec- 
ture." (/&&) Why not ? 

"To suppose a supernatural influence to cause the 
record of that which can only issue in a puzzle, is to 
lower indefinitely our conception of the Divine deal- 
ings in respect of a special Eevelation." (Ibid.) 
Why more of a lowering puzzle in GOD'S Word than 
in GOD'S Works d ? 

Mr. Wilson proceeds: "It may be attributed to 

e See below, p. 68. d See Butler's Analogy, P. u. c. iii. 


the defect of our understandings, that we should be 
unable altogether to reconcile the aspects of the SAVIOUR 
as presented to us in the first three Gospels, and in 
the writings of St. Paul and St. John. At any rate, 
there were current in the primitive Church very dis- 
tinct Christologies." (Ibid.) Queer language this 
for a plain man ! /, for my own part, have never 
yet discovered the difficulty which is here hinted at ; 
but which has been prudently left unexplained. 

It follows: "But neither to any defect in our 
capacities, nor to any reasonable presumption of a 
hidden wise design, nor to any partial spiritual en- 
dowments in the narrators, can we attribute the dif- 
ficulty, if not impossibility, of reconciling the gene- 
alogies of St. Matthew and St. Luke; or the chro- 
nology of the Holy "Week ; or the accounts of the 
Eesurrection : nor to any mystery in the subject- 
matter can be referred the uncertainty in which the 
New Testament writings leave us, as to the descent 
of JESUS CHRIST according to the flesh, whether by 
His mother He were of the tribe of Judah or of the 
tribe of Levi." (pp. 179-180.) I, for my part, can 
declare that I have found the reconcilement in the 
three subjects first alluded to, as complete as could 
be either expected or desired. The last part of the 
sentence discovers nothing so much as the writer's 
ignorance of the subject on which he presumes to 

Presently, we read, " It may be worth while to 
consider how far a liberty of opinion is conceded by 
our existing Laws, Civil and Ecclesiastical." (p. 180.) 
"As far as opinion privately entertained is concerned, 
the liberty of the English Clergyman appears already 
to be complete. For no Ecclesiastical person can be 


obliged to answer interrogations as to his opinions; 
nor be troubled for that which he has not actually 
expressed; nor be made responsible for inferences 
which other people may draw from his expressions." 
(Ibid.) Surely such language needs only to be 
cited to awaken indignation in every honest bosom ! 
"With most men educated, not in the schools of 
Jesuitism, but in the sound and honest moral train- 
ing of an English Education, the mere entering on 
the record such a plea as this, must destroy the whole 
case. If the position of the religious instructor is to 
be maintained only by his holding one thing as true, 
and teaching another thing as to be received, in the 
name of the GOD of Truth, either let all teaching 
cease, or let the fraudulent instructor abdicate wil- 
lingly his office, before the moral indignation of an 
as yet uncorrupted people thrust him ignominiously 
from his abused seat e !" 

The remarks just quoted serve to introduce a series 
of views on subscription to the Articles, which, if 
they were presented to me without any intimation 
of the quarter from which they proceed, I should not 
have hesitated to denounce as simply dishonest f . . . . 

e Quarterly Beview, Jan. 1861, p. 275. 

f Take a few as a specimen: "A great restraint is supposed to 
be imposed upon the Clergy by reason of their subscription to the 
Thirty-nine Articles. Yet it is more difficult than might be ex- 
pected, to define what is the extent of the legal obligation of those 
who sign them ; and in this case, the strictly legal obligation is the 
measure of the moral one. Subscription may be thought even to 
be inoperative upon the conscience by reason of its vagueness. For 
the act of subscription is enjoined, but its effect or meaning nowhere 
plainly laid down ; and it does not seem to amount to more than an 
acceptance of the Articles of the Church as the formal law to which 
the subscriber is in some sense subject. What that subjection 
amounts to, must be gathered elsewhere ; for it does not appear on 


The Statute 13 Eliz. c. 12, is next discussed with the 
same unhappy licentiousness ; and the declaration that 
"the meshes are too open for modern refinements." 
(p. 185.) . . . . I desire not to speak with undue seve- 
rity of a fellow- creature : but I protest that I cannot 
read the Eeview under consideration without a pro- 
found conviction that, (speaking for myself,) I have 
to do with one whom in the common concerns of life 
I would not trust. The aptitude here displayed g for 
playing tricks with plain language, is calculated to 
sap the foundations of human intercourse, and to de- 
stroy confidence. If plain words may mean anything, 
or may mean nothing, then, farewell to all good 
faith in the intercourse of daily life. If Articles "for 
the avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, and for the 
establishing of Consent touching true Beligion h ," 
such Articles especially as the Ilnd., " Of the WORD 
or SON of GOD, which was made very Man ;" and the 
Vth., " Of the HOLY GHOST," (which the Eev. Mr. 
Wilson calls " humanifying of the Divine Word," 
and "the Divine Personalities,") (p. 186,) may be 
signed by one who, even in signing, resolves to " pass 
ly the side of them ^ (p. 186, line 6,) then is it better 
at once to admit that no Logic can be supposed to be 
available with such a writer; that he places himself 
outside the reach of fair argumentation; and must 
not be astonished if he shall find himself regarded by 
his peers simply in the light of an untrustworthy and 
impracticable person. 

The last stage of all in this deplorable paper is an 

the face of the subscription itself." (p. 181. See down to page 185.) 
Can equivocation such as this be read without a sense of humiliation 
and shame, as well as of disgust and abhorrence ? 

g p. 180 to p. 190. h Heading of the XXXIX Articles. 


application to Holy Scripture itself of the tricks which 
the Vicar of Great Staughton has already played, so 
much to his own satisfaction, with the Articles. " We 
may say that the value of the historical parts of the 
Bible may consist, rather in their significance, in the 
ideas which they awaken, than in the scenes them- 
selves which they depict." (p. 199.) To a plain Eng- 
lish understanding, (unperplexed with the dreams of 
Strauss, and other unbelievers of the same stamp,) 
such a statement conveys scarcely an intelligible no- 
tion. But we are not left long in doubt. 

"The application of Ideology to the interpretation 
of Scripture, to the doctrines of Christianity, to the 
formularies of the Church, may undoubtedly be car- 
ried to an excess ; may be pushed so far as to leave 
in the sacred records no historical residue whatever. 
.... An example of the critical Ideology carried to 
excess, is that of Strauss ; which resolves into an 
ideal the whole of the historical and doctrinal person 

of JESUS But it by no means follows, because 

Strauss has substituted a mere shadow for the JESUS 
of the Evangelists, that there are not traits in the 
scriptural person of Jesus, which are better explained 
by referring them to an ideal than an historical origin : 
and without falling into fanciful exegetics, there are 
parts of Scripture more usefully interpreted ideolo- 
gically than in any other manner, as for instance, 
the history of the Temptation of JESUS by Satan, and 
accounts of demoniacal possessions" (pp. 200 201.) 
" Some may consider the descent of all Mankind from 
Adam and Eve as an undoubted historical fact ; others 
may rather perceive in that relation a form of narra- 
tive into which in early ages tradition would easily 
throw itself spontaneously Among a particular 



people, this historical representation became the concrete 
expression of a great moral truth, of the brotherhood 

of all human beings The force, grandeur, and 

reality of these ideas are not a whit impaired in the 
abstract, nor indeed the truth of the concrete history (!) 
as their representation, even though mankind should 
have been placed upon the earth in many pairs at once, 
or in distinct centres of creation. For the brotherhood 
of men really depends," &c., &c. (p. 201.) "Let us 
suppose one to be uncertain whether our LORD were 
born of the house and lineage of David, or of the 
tribe of Levi ; and even to be driven to conclude that 
the genealogies of Him have little historic value; 
nevertheless, in idea, JESUS is both Son of David and 
Son of Aaron, both Prince of Peace, and High Priest 
of our profession ; as He is, under another idea, though 
not literally, ' without father and without mother.' 
And He is none the less Son of David, Priest Aaron- 
ical, or Eoyal Priest Melchizedecan, in idea and spi- 
ritually, even if it be unproved whether He were any 
of them in historic fact. In like manner it need not 
trouble us, if in consistency, we should have to sup- 
pose both an ideal origin, and to apply an ideal mean- 
ing, to the birth in the city of David, (!) and to other 
circumstances of the Infancy. (!) So again, the Incar- 
nification of the divine Immanuel remains, although 
the angelic appearances which herald it in the narra- 
tives of the Evangelists may be of ideal origin, accord- 
ing to the conceptions of former days." (pp. 202-3.) 
"And," lastly, "liberty must be left to all as to the 
extent in which they apply this principle /" (p. 201.) 

To such dreamy nonsense, what "Answer" can we 
return 1 ? Such speculations would be a fair subject 

1 The reader is referred to some remarks on Ideology towards 
the close of Sermon VII., p. 243 to p. 251. 


for ridicule and merriment, if the subject were not so 
unspeakably solemn, the issues so vast, and terribly 
momentous. "We find ourselves introduced into a new 
world, of which the denizens talk like madmen, and 
in a jargon of their own. And yet, that jargon is no 
sooner understood, than the true character of our new 
companions becomes painfully evident k . . . .He who 
believes the plain words of Holy Writ, finds himself 
called "the literalist." He who resolves Scripture 
into a dream, and the LORD who redeemed him into 
"a mere shadow," (p. 200) is dignified with the title 
of " an idealist." " Neither" (we are assured) " should 
condemn the other. They are fed with the same 
truths; the literalist unconsciously, the idealist with 
reflection. Neither can justly say of the other that 
he undervalues the Sacred Writings, or that he holds 
them as inspired less properly than himself." (p. 200.) 
"The ideologian," (who is the same person as the 

k " Unhappily, together with his inauguration of Multitudinism, 
Constantine also inaugurated a principle essentially at variance with 
it, the principle of doctrinal limitation." (p. 166.) . . . "The oppor- 
tunity of reverting to the freedom of the Apostolic, and imme- 
diately succeeding periods, was finally lost for many ages by the 
sanction given by Constantine to the decisions of Niceea." (Hid.) 
"At all events, a principle at variance with a true Multitudinism 
was then recognised." (Ibid.) 

How does it happen, by the way, that one writing B.D. after his 
name, however bitter his animosity against the Nicene Creed may 
be, is not aware that Creeds are co-eval with Christianity ? Thus 
we find the Creed of Carthage in the works of Cyprian, (A.D. 225,) 
and Tertullian, (A.D. 210, 203) : that of Lyons in the works of 
Ireneeus, (A.D. 180.) [see Heurtley's Harmonia Symlolica, pp. 7-20.] 
"We recognize fragments of the Creed in Ignatius, (A.D. 90.) We 
hear St. Paul himself saying vTrorinraxriv e^e vyiatvovrav Aoywi', $>v 
(i.e. the words themselves!) nap cpov rjitovo-as .... T^V KaXqv irapa- 
Ka.Ta6r)Kr)v $v\aov 2 Tim. i. 13, 14. A few more words on this 
subject will be found in the notice of Mr. Jowett's Essay. 


" idealist ;" for the gentleman, at this place, changes 
his name ;) "is evidently in possession of a principle 
which will enable him to stand in charitable relation 
to persons of very different opinions from his own." 
(p. 202.) " Eelations which may repose on doubtful 
grounds as matter of history, and, as history, be in- 
capable of being ascertained or verified, may yet be 
equally suggestive of true ideas with facts absolutely 
certain. The spiritual significance is the same of the 
Transfiguration, of opening blind eyes, of causing the 
tongue of the stammerer to speak plainly, of feeding 
multitudes with bread in the wilderness, of cleansing 
leprosy ; whatever links may be deficient in the tra- 
ditional records of particular events." (Ibid.) .... I 
will but modestly inquire, What would be said of 
us, if we were so to expound Holy Scripture in defence 
of Christianity ? 

But it is time to dismiss this tissue of worthless as 
well as most mischievous writing; even to exhibit 
which, in the words of its misguided author, ought to 
be its own sufficient exposure. Do men really expect 
us to " answer" such groundless assertions, and vague 
speculations as those which go before ? A Faith with- 
out Creeds : a Clergy without authority or fixed opi- 
nions : a Bible without historical truth : how can 
such things, for a moment, be supposed to be l ? What 

1 It is really impossible to argue with a man who informs us 
that "previous to the time of the divided Kingdom, the Jewish His- 
tory presents little which is thoroughly reliable :" (p. 170 :) that 
"the greater probability seems on the side of the supposition, that 
the Priesthood, with its distinct offices and charge, was constituted 
.by Royalty, and that the higher pretensions of the priests were not 
advanced till the reign of Josiah :" (Hid. :) that, " The negative 
Theologian" demands "some positive elements in Christianity, on 
grounds more sure to him than the assumption of an objective 'faith 


answer do we render to the sick man who sees un- 
substantial goblins on the solid tapestried wall ; and 
mistakes for shadowy apparitions of the night, the 
forms of flesh and blood which are ministering to his 
life's necessities ? If the Temptation, and the Trans- 
figuration, and the Miracles of CHRIST be not true his- 
tory, but ideological allegories, then why not His Nati- 
vity and His Crucifixion, His Death and His Burial, 
His Kesurrection and His Ascension into Heaven 
likewise ? " Liberty " (we have been expressly told,) 
" must be left to all, as to the extent in which they apply 
the principle" (p. 201.) Where then is Ideology to 
begin, or rather, where is ideology to end? "Why 
then is Strauss to be blamed for using that universal 
liberty, and l resolving into an ideal the whole of the his- 
torical and doctrinal person of JESUS?' Why is Strauss' 
resolution ( an excess ?' or where and by what autho- 
rity, short of his extreme view, would Mr. Wilson 
himself stop ? or at what point of the process ? and 
by what right could he, consistently with his own 
canon, call on any other speculator, to stay the ideo- 
logizing process m ?'' 

"Discrepancies in narratives, scientific difficulties, 
defects in evidence, do not disturb the ideologist as 
they do the literalist." (p. 203.) No, truly. Nothing 
troubles him ; simply because he believes nothing ! 

once delivered to the saints? which he cannot identify with the Creed 
of any Church as yet known to him :" (pp. 174-5 :) a man who can 
remark concerning the Bible, that, " Those who are able to do so, 
ought to lead the less educated to distinguish between the different 
kinds of words which it contains, between the dark patches of human 
passion and error which form a partial crust upon it, and the bright 
centre of spiritual truth within." (p. 177.) 

m Quarterly Review, (Jan. 1851,) No. 217, p. 259. 


The very Sacraments of the Gospel are not secure 
from his unhallowed touch. " The same principle" (?) 
is declared to be " capable 7 of application" to them 
also. " "Within these concrete conceptions there lie 
hid the truer ideas of the virtual presence of the LORD 
JESUS everywhere that He is preached, remembered, 
and represented." (p. 204.) ... Do we ever deal thus 
with any other book of History ? And yet, on what 
possible principle is the Bible to be thus trifled with, 
and Thucydides to be spared ? I protest, if the histo- 
rical personages of either Testament may be resolved 
at will into abstract qualities, and the historical trans- 
actions of either Testament may be supposed to re- 
present ideas and notions only, then, I see not why 
the Vicar of Great Staughton himself may not prove 
to be a mythical personage also. Why need Henry 
Bristow Wilson, B.D., who, (as f ' literalists " say,) 
in 1841 was one of the * Four Tutors ' who procured 
the condemnation of Tract No. 90, on the ground that 
it i evaded rather than explained the Thirty-nine Arti- 
cles;' and who, in 1861 writes that " Subscription to 
the Articles may be thought even inoperative upon the 
conscience by reason of its vagueness;" (p. 181.) 
why need this author be supposed to be a man at all ? 
Why should he not be interpreted " ideologically ;" 
and resolved into the principle of disgraceful Incon- 
sistency of conduct, and " variation of opinion at dif- 
ferent periods of life ?" 

Y. IN the present crusade against the Bible and 
the Faith of Christian men, the task of destroying 
confidence in the first chapter of Genesis has been 
undertaken by MR. C. W. GOODWIN, M.A. He re- 
quires us to " regard it as the speculation of some 


Hebrew Descartes or Newton, promulgated in all 
good faith as the best and most probable account 
that could be then given of GOD'S Universe." (p. 252.) 

Mr. Goodwin remarks with scorn, that " we are 
asked to believe that a vision of Creation was pre- 
sented to him by Divine power, for the purpose of 
enabling him to inform the world of what he had 
seen ; which vision inevitably led him to give a de- 
scription which has misled the world for centuries, 
and in which the truth can now only with difficulty 
be recognized." (p. 247.) He puts "pen to paper," 
therefore, (he says,) in order to induce the world to a 
" frank recognition of the erroneous views of nature 
which the Bible contains." (p. 211.) The importance 
of the inquiry, he vindicates in the following modest 
terms: "Physical Science goes on unconcernedly 
pursuing its own paths. Theology, (the Science 
whose object is the dealing of GOD with Man as a 
moral being,) maintains but a shivering existence, 
shouldered and jostled by the sturdy growths of modern 
thought, and bemoaning itself for the hostility it en- 
counters." (p. 211.) A few remarks at once suggest 

I cannot help thinking that if any person of ordi- 
nary intelligence, unacquainted with the Bible, were 
to be left to obtain his notion of its contents from 
"Essays and Ee views," infidel publications generally, 
and (absit invidia verbo /) from not a few of the Ser- 
mons which have been preached and printed in either 
University of late years, the notion so obtained 
would be singularly at variance with the known facts 
of the case. "Would not a man infallibly carry away 
an impression that the Bible is a book abounding in 
statements concerning matters of Physical Science 


which, are flatly contradicted by the ascertained phe- 
nomena of Nature ? Would he not be led to expect 
that it contained every here and there a theoretical 
Excursus on certain Astronomical or Physiological 
subjects? and to anticipate, above all, an occasional 
chapter on Geology? Great would be his astonish- 
ment, surely, at finding that one single chapter com- 
prises nearly the whole of the statements which mo- 
dern philosophy finds so very hateful ; and that chap- 
ter, the first chapter in the Bible n . 

But the surprise would grow considerably when 
the conditions of the problem came to be a little 
more fully stated. Has then the actual history of 
the World's Creation been ascertained from some other 
independent and infallible source ? No ! Are Geolo- 
gists as yet so much as agreed even about a theory 
of the Creation ? No ! Can it be proved that any part 
of the Mosaic account is false ? Certainly not ! Then 
why all this hostile dogmatism ? To witness the vio- 
lence of the partisans of Geological discovery, and the 
arrogance of their pretensions, one would suppose that 
some Divine Creed of theirs had been impugned : 
that a revelation had been made to them from Heaven, 
which the profane and unbelieving world was reluc- 

n A writer in the Saturday Review, (April 6, 1861,) in an ad- 
mirable Article on the importance of retaining the office of 'Dean' 
in its integrity, (instead ^of suicidally merging it in the office of 
'Bishop,') speaks of there being "no English Commentary on the 
New Testament brought up to the level of modern Theological 
Science." [As if "the level" had been rising of late!] "Butler 
and Paley are still our text-books on the Evidences ; and we are de- 
fending old beliefs behind wooden walls against the rifled cannon 
and iron broadsides of modern Philosophy." p. 337. What a 
strange misapprehension of the entire question, of the relation 
of Theological to Physical Science, does such_a sentence betray ! 


tant to accept. Whereas, these are Christian men, im- 
patient, as it seems, to tear the first leaf out of their 
Bible : or rather, to throw discredit on the entire 
volume, by establishing the untrustworthiness of the 
earliest page ! 

One single additional consideration completes the 
strangeness of the picture. If our account of the Six 
Days of Creation were a sybilline leaf of unknown 
origin, it would not be unreasonable to treat its reve- 
lations as little worth. But since the author of it is 
confessedly Moses, the great Hebrew prophet, who 
lived from B.C. 1571 to 1451, who enjoyed the vision 
of the Most High; nay, who conversed with GOD 
face to face, was with Him in the Mount for thrice 
forty days, and received from Him the whole details 
of the Sacred Law ; since this first chapter of Genesis 
is known to have formed a part of the Church's un- 
broken heritage from that time onward, and therefore 
must be acknowledged to be an integral part of the 
volume of Scripture which, (as our LORD says,) ov Sv- 
VOLTOLI XvOrjvai, " cannot be broken, diluted, loosened, 
explained away;" since, further, this account of 
Creation is observed to occur in the most conspicuous 
place of the most conspicuous of those books which 
are designated by an Apostle by the epithet QeoTrvev- 
CTTO?, or, " given by inspiration," " filled with the 
breath," or " Spirit of GOD;" and when it is con- 
sidered that our SAVIOUR and His Apostles refer to the 
primaeval history contained in the first two chapters 
about thirty times : when, (I say,) all this is duly 
weighed, surely too strong ajjrimdfacie case has been 
made out on behalf of the first chapter of Genesis, 

See below, p. 235. 



that its authority should be imperilled by the random 
statements of every fresh individual who sees fit to 
master the elements of Geology ; and on the strength 
of that qualification presumes to sit in judgment on 
the Hebrew Scriptures, of which, confessedly, he 
does not understand so much as the alphabet ! 

It is even amusing to see how vain a little mind 
can become of a little knowledge. Mr. Goodwin re- 
marks, "The school-books of the present day, while 
they teach the child that the Earth moves, yet assure 
him that it is a little less than six thousand years old, 
and that it was made in six days." (p. 210.) (I am 
puzzled to reconcile this statement with the author's 
declaration that " no well-instructed person now doubts 
the great antiquity of the Earth any more than its 
motion." (Ibid.) "Would it not have been fairer to 
have named at least one of the school-books which 
perpetuate so wicked a heresy ?) " Oh the other hand, 
Geologists of all religious creeds are agreed that the 
Earth has existed for an immense series of years, 
to be counted by millions rather than by thousands ; 
and that indubitably more than six days elapsed from 
its first Creation to the appearance of Man upon its 
surface. By this broad discrepancy between old and 
new doctrine is the modern mind startled, as were 
the men of the sixteenth century when told that the 
earth moved." (p. 210.) 

But begging pardon of our philosopher, if all he 
means is that more than six days elapsed between the 
Creation of "Heaven and Earth," (noticed in ver. 1,) 
and the Creation of Man, (spoke of from ver. 26 to 28,) 
he means to say mighty little ; and need not fear 
to encounter contradiction from any "well -instructed 
person." True, that an ignorant man could not have 


suspected anything of the kind from reading the first 
chapter of Genesis : but this is surely nobody's fault 
but his own. An ignorant man might in like man- 
ner be of opinion that the Sun and Moon are the two 
largest objects in creation; and there is not a word 
in this same chapter calculated to undeceive him. 
Again, he might think that the Sun rises and sets; 
and the common language of the Observatory would 
confirm him hopelessly in his mistake. All this how- 
ever is no one's fault but his own. The ancient Fa- 
thers of the Church, behind- hand as they were in 
Physical Science, yet knew enough to anticipate " the 
hypothesis of the Geologist ; and two of the Christian 
Fathers, Augustine and Theodoret, are referred to as 
having actually held that a wide interval elapsed be- 
tween the first act of Creation, mentioned in the 
Mosaic account, and the commencement of the Six 
Days' work." (p. 231.) Mr. Goodwin therefore has 
got no further, so far, than Augustine and Theodoret 
got, 1400 years since, without the aid of Geology. 

But we must hasten on. The business of the 
Essayist, as we have said, is to undermine our con- 
fidence in the Bible, by exposing the ignorance of the 
author of the first chapter. " Modern theologians," 
(he remarks, with unaffected displeasure,) "have di- 
rected their attention to the possibility of reconciling 
the Mosaic narrative with those geological facts which 
are admitted to be beyond dispute." (p. 210.) And 
pray, (we modestly ask,) is not such a proceeding ob- 
vious? A "frank recognition of the erroneous views 
of Nature which the Bible contains," (p. 211,) we shall 
be prepared to yield when those "erroneous views" 
have been demonstrated to exist, but not till then. 
Mr. Goodwin must really remember that although, 


in his opinion, the " Mosaic Cosmogony, " (for so he 
phrases it,) is "not an authentic utterance of Divine 
knowledge, but a human utterance," (p. 253,) the 
World thinks differently. The learned and wise and 
good of all ages, including the present, are happily 
agreed that the first chapter of Genesis is part of the 
Word of GOD. 

After what is evidently intended to be a showy 
sketch of the past history of our planet, " we pass" 
(says Mr. Goodwin) "to the account of the Creation 
contained in the Hebrew record. And it must be ob- 
served that in reality two distinct accounts are given 
us in the book of Genesis ; one, being comprised in 
the first chapter and the first three verses of the 
second ; the other, commencing at the fourth verse of 
the second chapter and continuing till the end. This 
is so philologically certain that it were useless to 
ignore it." (p. 217.) Eeally we read such statements 
with a kind of astonishment which almost swallows 
up sorrow. Do they arise, (to quote Mr. Goodwin's 
own language,) " from our modern habits of thought, 
and from the modesty of assertion which the spirit 
of true science has taught us ?" (p. 252.) Convinced 
that my unsupported denial would have no more 
weight than Mr. Goodwin's ought to have, I have 
referred the dictum just quoted to the highest Hebrew 
authority available, and have been assured that it is 
utterly without foundation. 

After such experience of Mr. Goodwin's philological 
" certainties," what amount of attention does he ex- 
pect his dicta to command in a Science which, starting 
from " a region of uncertainty, where Philosophy is 
reduced to mere guesses and possibilities, and pro- 
nounces nothing definite," (p. 213,) has to travel 


through "a prolonged period, beginning and ending 
we know not when ;" (p. 214 ;) reaches another period, 
"the duration of which no one presumes to define;" 
(Ibid.;) and again another, during which "nothing 
can be asserted positively :" (p. 215 :) after which 
comes " a kind of artificial break ?" (Ibid.) 

For my own part, I freely confess that Mr. Good- 
win's final admission that " the advent of Man may be 
considered as inaugurating a new and distinct epoch, 
that in which we now are, and during the whole 
of which the physical conditions of existence cannot 
have been very materially different from what they 
are now;" (p. 216;) and that "thus much is clear, 
that Man's existence on Earth is brief, compared with 
the ages during which unreasoning creatures were the 
sole possessors of the globe :" (p. 217 :) these state- 
ments, I say, contain as much as one desires to see 
admitted. For really, since the fossil Flora, and the 
various races of animated creatures which Geologists 
have classified with so much industry and skill, con- 
fessedly belong to a period of immemorial antiquity ; 
and, with very rare exceptions indeed, represent extinct 
species, I, as an interpreter of Scripture, am not at 
all concerned with them. Moses asserts nothing at 
all about them, one way or the other. What Beve- 
lation says, is, that nearly 6000 years ago, after 
a mighty catastrophe, unexplained alike in its cause, 
its nature, and its duration, the Creator of the Uni- 
verse instituted upon the surface of this Earth of ours 
that order of things which has continued ever since ; 
and which is observed at this instant to prevail : that 
He was pleased to parcel out His transcendent opera- 
tions, and to spread them over Six Days; and that 
He ceased from the work of Creation on the Seventh 

xciv MR. GOODWIN'S PARODY or GEN. i. [MR. 

Day. All extant species, whether of the vegetable 
or the animal Kingdom, including Man himself, belong 
to the week in question. And this statement, as it 
has never yet been found untrue, so am I unable to 
anticipate by what possible evidence it can ever be 
set aside as false. 

In my Ilnd Sermon, I have ventured to review 
the Mosaic record sufficiently in detail, to render it 
superfluous that I should retrace any portion of it 
here. The reader is requested to read at least so 
much of what has been offered as is contained from 
p. 28 to p. 32. My business at present is with 
Mr. Goodwin. 

And in limine I have to remind him that he has 
really no right first to give, in his own words, his own 
notion of the history of Creation ; and then to insist 
on making the Revelation of the same transaction 
ridiculous by giving it also in words of his own, 
which become in effect a weak parody of the origi- 
nal. What is there in Genesis about " the air or wind 
fluttering over the waters of the deep ?" (p. 219.) 
Is this meant for the august announcement that " the 
SPIRIT of GOD moved upon the face of the waters ?" 
" On the third day, . , . . we wish to call attention 
to the fact that trees and plants destined for food 
are those which are particularly singled out as the 
earliest productions of the earth." (p. 220.) The re- 
verse is the fact; as a glance at Gen. i. 11. will 
shew. "The formation of the stars" on the fourth 
day, " is mentioned in the most cursory manner." 
(p. 221.) But who is not aware that " the forma- 
tion of the stars " is nowhere mentioned in this chapter 
at all ? 

" Light and the measurement of time," (proceeds 


Mr. "Goodwin,) "are represented as existing before 
the manifestation of the Sun." (p. 219.) Half of this 
statement is true ; the other half is false. The former 
idea, he adds, is " repugnant to our modern know- 
ledge." (p. 219.) Is then Mr. Goodwin really so weak 
as to imagine that our Sun is the sole source of Light 
in Creation ? Whence then the light of the so-called 
fixed Stars ? But I shall be told that Mr. Goodwin 
speaks of our system only, and of our Earth in parti- 
cular. Then pray, whence that glory p which on a cer- 
tain night on a mountain in Galilee, caused the face 
of our BEDEEMER to shine as the Sun q and His raiment 
to emit a dazzling lustre r ? " We may boldly affirm," 
(he says,) " that those for whom [Gen. i. 3 5] was 
penned could have taken it in no other sense than 
that light existed before and independently of the 
sun." (p. 219.) We may indeed. And I as boldly 
affirm that I take the passage in that sense myself: 
moreover that I hold the statement which Mr. Good- 
win treats so scornfully, to be the very truth which, 
in the deep counsels of GOD, this passage was designed 
to convey to mankind ; even that " the King of Kings, 
and LORD of Lords, who only hath immortality, dwell- 
eth in the Light which no man can approach unto s ." 

p As the excellent Townson observed long since, "The bright- 
ness of countenance and raiment which dazzled and overcame the 
sight of His Apostles when He was Transfigured on the Mount, 
was to Him but a ray of that glory in which He dwelt before the 
Worlds were made." Sermon on " The manner of our SAVIOUE'S 
Teaching," Works, vol. i. p. 282. 

i St. Matth. xvii. 2. ' St. Mark ix. 3. 

* 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16. If it be more philosophical to suppose that 
the Light which shone upon the earth during the first three days 
proceeded from the Sun, (the orb of which remained invisible,) and 
not from any extraneous independent source, I have no objection 


" The work of the second day of Creation is to erect 
the vault of Heaven (Heb. Eakia ; Gr. o-repeco/jia ; 
Lat. Firmamentum^] which is represented as support- 
ing an ocean of water above it. The waters are said 
to be divided, so that some are below, and some above 
the vault. . . . No quibbling about the derivation of 
the word Rakia, which is literally < something beaten 
out,' can affect the explicit description of the Mosaic 
writer contained in the words 'the waters that are 

whatever to such a supposition, or indeed to any other which suffers 
the inspired record to remain intact. I am by no means clear how- 
ever that Philosophy (begging her pardon,) does not entirely mistake 
her office, when she pretends to explain the first chapter of Genesis. 
Hence, her constrained language, and unnatural manner, when she 
desires to be respectful, her inconsequential remarks and perpetual 
blunders when she rather prefers to be irreligious. She is simply 
out of her element, and is discoursing of what she does not under- 
stand. Theology, dealing with a physical problem by the method 
of Theological Science ; and Philosophy, applying to a chapter in 
the Bible the physical method, are alike at fault, and alike ridi- 
culous. This truth, however obvious, does not seem to be generally 

But, (to return to the first three days of Creation,) since the 
Author of Revelation seems to design that I should understand that 
Sun, Moon, and Stars not only did not come to view until the fourth 
day, but also that they were not re-invested with their imme- 
morial function and office until then, I find no difficulty, remem- 
bering with whom I have to do, even with Him who sowed the vault 
of Heaven so thick with stars, each one of which may be not a sun 
but a system * ; when, I say, I attend to the emphatic nature of the 
inspired record, on the one hand, and to GOD'S Omnipotence on the 
other, I have no difficulty in supposing that He embraced the Sun 
in a veil, for just so long a period as it seemed Him good, and when 
He willed that it should re-appear, that He withdrew the veil again. 
The name for the operation just now alluded to belongs to the pro- 
vince of Philosophy. Divinity is all the while thinking about some- 
thing infinitely better and higher. 

4 Herschel. 


above the firmament,' or avail to shew that he was 
aware that the sky is but transparent space." (pp. 219, 
220.) "The allotted receptacle [of Sun and Moon] 
was not made until the Second Day, nor were they 
set in it until the fourth." (p. 221.) Surely I cannot 
be the only reader to whom the impertinence of this 
is as offensive, as its shallowness is ridiculous ! In 
spite of Mr. Goodwin's uplifted finger, and menacing 
cry, " No quibbling !" I proceed with my inquiry. 

For first ; Why does Mr. Goodwin parody the 
words of Inspiration ? The account as given by Moses 
is, "And GOD said, Let there be a firmament in the 
midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters 
from the waters*." But surely, to make the "open 
firmament of Heaven" in which every winged fowl 
may fly u , is not " to erect the vault of Heaven," 
" a permanent solid vault" " supporting an ocean of 
water ! " 

The Hebrew word here used to denote " firmament," 
on which Mr. Goodwin's indictment turns, ("rakia,") 
is derived from a verb which means to "beat." Now, 
what is beaten, or hammered out, while (if it be a 
metal) it acquires extension, acquires also solidity. The 
Septuagint translators seem to have fastened upon 
the latter notion, and accordingly represented it by 
o-repecofjia] for which, the earliest Latin translators 
of the Old Testament coined an equivalent, firma- 
mentum. But that Moses by the word "rakia" in* 
tended rather to denote the expanse. overhead, than to 
predicate solidity for the sky, I suspect will be readily 
admitted by all. True that in the poetical book of 
Job, we read that the sky is "strong, as a molten 
looking-glass x :" but then we meet more frequently 
* Gen. i. 6. n Ibid. 20. * Job xxxvii. 18, 



with passages of a different tendency. GOD is said to 
"stretch out the heavens like a curtain^" " and spread 
them out as a tent to dwell in z :" to " bind up the waters 
in His thick clouds a ,", and "in a garment*," &c., &c. c 
It is only needful to look out the word in the dictionary 
of Gesenius to see that spreading out, (as of thin plates 
of metal by a hammer,) is the only notion which pro- 
perly belongs to the word. Accordingly, the earliest 
modern Latin translation from the Hebrew, (that of 
Pagninus,) renders the word expansio. And so the 
word has stood for centuries in the margin of our 
English Bible. 

The actual fact of the case, the truth concerning 
the physical phenomenon alluded to, comes in, and 
surely may be allowed to haye some little weight. 
Since expansion is a real attribute of the atmosphere 
which divides the waters above from the waters below, 
and solidity is not, it seems to me only fair, seeing 
that the force of the expression is thought doubt- 
ful, to assign to it the meaning which is open to 
fewest objections. 

But "the Hebrews," (says Mr. Goodwin,) " under- 
stood the sky, firmament, or heaven to be a permanent 
solid vault, as it appears to the ordinary observer." 
This, he adds, is " evident enough from various ex- 
pressions made use of concerning it. It is said to 
have pillars d , foundations 6 , doors f , and windows g ," 
(p. 220.) Now, I really do not think Mr. Goodwin's 
inference by any means so " evident" as he asserts. 

y Ps. civ. 2. z Is. xl. 22. a Job xxvi. 8. b Prov. xxx. 4. 
c See also Job ix. 8. Even in Job xxxvii. 18, the sky is said to 
be "spread out." So Is. xlv. 12, &c. 

d Job xxvi. 11. e 2 Sam. xxii. 8. 

Ps. Ixxviii. 23. g Gen. vii. 11. 


If Heaven has " pillars" in the poetical book of Job, 
so has the Earth h . The " foundations" spoken of in 
2 Sam. xxii. 8, seem rather to belong to Earth than 
to Heaven, as a reference to the parallel place in 
Ps. xviii. 7 will shew 1 . Is Mr. Goodwin so little of 
a poet, as to be staggered by the phrase " windows 
of Heaven," when it occurs in the figurative language 
of an ancient people, and in a poetical book k ? 

For the foregoing reasons, I distrust Mr. Goodwin's 
inference that " the Hebrews understood the sky to be 
a solid vault, furnished with pillars, foundations, doors, 
and windows." But whether they did, or did not, it 
is to be hoped that he is enough of a logician to per- 
ceive that the popular notions of GOD'S ancient people 
on this subject, are not the thing in question. The 
only FACT we have to do with is clearly this, that 
Moses has in this place employed the word " ralcia:" and 
the only QUESTION which can be moved about it, is 
(as evidently) the following, whether he was, or was 
not, to blame in employing that word ; for as to the 
meaning which he, individually, attached to the pheno- 
menon of which "rakia" is the name, it cannot be 
pretended that any one living knows anything at all 
about the matter. A Greek, Latin, or French astro- 
nomer who should speak of Heaven, would not there- 
fore be assumed to mean that it is hollow ; although 
KOI\OV, ' ccelumj cielj etymologically imply no less. 

Now I contend that Moses employed the word 
"rakia" with exactly the same propriety, neither 
more nor less, as when a Divine now-a-days employs 
the English word "firmament." It does not follow 

h Job ix. 6. Ps. Ixxv. 3. See Blomfield's Glossary to Prom. 
Vinct. v. 357. [ Comp. Is. xxiy. 18. 

k See Is. xxiv. 18 and Mai. iii. 10. 



that the man who speaks of " the spacious firmament 
on high," is under so considerable a delusion as to 
suspect that the firmament is a firm thing ; nor does it 
follow that Moses thought that " rakia" was a solid sub- 
stance either, even if solidity was the prevailing etymo- 
logical notion in the word, and even if the Hebrews 
were no better philosophers than Mr. Goodwin would 
have us believe. The Essayist's objection is therefore 
worthless. GOD was content that Moses should em- 
ploy the ordinary language of his day, accommodate 
himself to the forms of speech then prevalent, coin 
no new words. What is there unreasonable in the 
circumstance ? What possible ground does it furnish 
for a supposition that the etymological force of the 
word, or even that the popular physical theory of 
which that word may, or may not, have once been the 
connotation, denoted the sense in which Moses em- 
ployed it ? Is it to be supposed that when a physician 
speaks of a "jovial temperament," he insinuates his 
approval of an exploded system of medicine? Do 
astronomers maintain that the Sun has a disk, or the 
Earth an axis ? that the former leaves its place in the 
heavens when it suffers c eclipse ! ?' or that the latter 
has a superior latitude, from East to West ? To give 
the most familiar instance of all, Do scientific men 
believe that the sun rises, and sets ? And yet all say 
that it does, until this hour ! . . . Why is Moses to be 
judged by a less favourable standard than anybody 
else, than Shakspeare, than Hooker, even than 
Mr. Goodwin? The first, in an exquisite passage, 
bids Jessica, 

" Look how the floor of heav'n 
Is thick inlayed with patens of bright gold." 

edpav. (Herod.) See Coplcston's Remains, p. 107. 


Did Shakspeare expect his beautiful language would 
be tortured into a shape which would convict him of 
talking nonsense? But this is poetry. Then take 
Hooker's prose : 

" If the frame of that heavenly arch erected over 
our heads should loosen and dissolve itself; ... if the 
Moon should wander from her beaten way m ," &c. 

Did Hooker suppose that heaven is " an arch," 
which could be " loosened and dissolved ?" or that " the 
way" of the moon is " beaten ?" But this is a highly 
poetical passage, written three centuries ago. Let an 
unexceptionable witness then be called; and so, let the 
question be brought to definite issue. /, for my part, 
am quite content that it shall be the philosopher in 
person. The present Essayist shall be heard discours- 
ing about Creation, and shall be convicted out of his 
own mouth. Mr. Goodwin begins his paper by a kind 
of cosmogony of his own, which he prefaces with the 
following apology : " It will be necessary for our 
purpose to go over the oft-trodden ground, which 
must be done with rapid steps. Nor let the reader 
object to be reminded of some of the most elementary 
facts of his knowledge. The human race has been 
ages in arriving at conclusions now familiar to every 
child." (p. 212.) After this preamble, he begins his 
" elementary facts," as follows : 

"This Earth, apparently so still and stedfast, lying 
in majestic repose beneath the setherial vault," (p. 

But we remonstrate immediately. " The setherial 
vault!" Do you then understand the sky, firmament, 
or heaven to be " a permanent solid vault, as it ap- 
pears to the ordinary observer ?" (p. 220.) 
m Heel Pol i. iii. 2. 


" The Sun wliicli seems to leap up each morning 
from the east, and traversing the skyey bridge," 
(p. 212.) 

"The skyey bridge!" And pray in what part of 
the universe do you discover a " skyey bridge?" Is 
not this calculated " to convey to ordinary apprehen- 
sions an impression at variance with facts ?" (p. 231.) 

" The Moon which occupies a position in the visible 
heavens only second to the Sun, and far beyond that 
of every other celestial body in conspicuousness," 
(p. 212.) 

Nay, but really Mr. Philosopher, while you remind 
us "of some of the most elementary facts of our know- 
ledge," (p. 212,) you write (except in the matter of 
the " leaping Sun" and the " skyey bridge,") exactly 
as Moses does in the first chapter of Genesis ! What 
else does that great Prophet say but that " the Moon 
occupies a position in the visible heavens only second 
to the Sun, and far beyond that of every other celes- 
tial body in conspicuousness ?" (p. 212.) 

Enough, it is presumed, has been offered in reply to 
Mr. Goodwin, and his notions of "Mosaic Cosmo- 
gony." He writes with the flippancy of a youth in 
his teens, who having just mastered the elements of 
natural science, is impatient to acquaint the world 
with his achievement. His powers of dogmatism are 
unbounded; but he betrays his ignorance at every 
step. The Divine decree, " Let us make Man in Our 
image, after Our likeness"," he explains by remarking 
that "the Pentateuch abounds in passages shewing 
that the Hebrews contemplated the Divine being in 
the visible form of a man." (! ! !) (p. 221.) A foot-note 
contains the following oracular dictum, " See par- 

n Gen. i. 26. 


ticularly the narrative in Genesis xviii." What can 
be said to such an ignoramus as this ? Hear him dog- 
matizing in another subject-matter : " The common 
arrangement of the Bible in chapters is of compa- 
ratively modern origin, and is admitted on all hands 
to have no authority or philological worth whatever. 
In many cases the division is most preposterous." 
(p. 222.) That the division of chapters is occasionally 
infelicitous, is true : but is Mr. Goodwin weak enough 
to think that he could divide them better? The 
division into chapters and verses again is not so 
modern as Mr. Goodwin fancies. Dr. M'Caul, (in 
a pamphlet on the Translation of the Bible,) shews 
reason for suspecting that some of the divisions of 
the Old Testament Scriptures are as old as the time 
of Ezra. 

To return, and for the last time, to Mr. Goodwin's 
Essay. His object is, (with how much of success I 
have already sufficiently shewn,) (1) To fasten the 
charge of absurdity and ignorance on the ancient Pro- 
phet who is confessedly the author of the Book of 
Genesis: (2) To prove that a literal interpretation 
of Gen. i., "will not bear a moment's serious dis- 
cussion." (p. 230.) I look through his pages in 
vain for the wished-for proof. He has many strong 
assertions. He puts them forth with not a little in- 
solence. But he proves nothing 1 At p. 226, how- 
ever, I read as follows: " Dr, Buckland appears to 
assume that when it is said that the Heaven and the 
Earth were created in the beginning, it is to be under- 
stood that they were created in their present form 
and state of completeness, the heaven raised above 
the earth as we see it, or seem to see it now." 
(pp. 226-7.) 


But Dr. Buckland " appears to assume" nothing of 
the kind. His words are, " The first verse of Genesis 
seems explicitly to assert the creation of the Universe : 
the Heaven, including the sidereal systems, and the 
Earth, . . . the subsequent scene of the operations of 
the six days about to be described." (pp. 224-5.) 

"This," continues Mr. Goodwin, "is the fallacy of 
his argument." (p. 227.) 

But if this is "the fallacy of his argument," we 
have already seen that it is a fallacy which rests 
not with Dr. Buckland, but with Mr. Goodwin. He 
proceeds : 

" The circumstantial description of the framing of 
the Heaven out of the waters proves that the words 
< Heaven and Earth,' in the first verse, must be taken 
proleptically." (p. 227.) 

But we may as well stop the torrent of long words, 
by simply pointing out that " the heavens," (hash- 
amaim,) spoken of in Gen. i. 1, are quite distinct from 
"the firmament," (rakia : ) spoken of in ver. 6. The 
word is altogether different, and the sense is evidently 
altogether different also ; although Mr. Goodwin seeks 
to identify the two . And further, we take leave to 

o "The difficulty," he says, (alluding to Gen. i. 1,) "lies in this, 
that the heaven is distinctly said to have been formed ... on the 
second day." (p. 226.) But this is the language of a man determined 
that there sliall be a difficulty. " The Heavens and the Earth" 
clearly denote, (in the simple phraseology of a primitive age,) the 
sum of all created things ; the great transaction which Nehemiah has 
so strikingly expounded: "Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens, with 
all their host, the Earth and all things that are therein;" in- 
cluding " the sea, with all that is therein." (Neh. ix. 6.) Whereas 
" the firmament" of ver. 6, (which GOD called " Heaven" in ver. 8,) 
can only indicate the blue vault immediately overhead, wherein 
fowls fly. (ver. 20.) If this be not the meaning of Gen. i. 1, one 


remind our modern philosopher that no " circum- 
stantial description of the framing of the heaven out 
of the waters," is to be found either in ver. 6, or else- 
where. And this must suffice. 

The entire subject shall be dismissed with a very 
few remarks. Mr. Goodwin delights in pointing out 
the incorrectness of " the sense in which the Mosaic 
narrative was taken by those who first heard it :" 
(p. 223 :) and in asserting " that this meaning is primd 
facie one wholly adverse to the present astronomical 
and geological views of the Universe." (p. 223.) But 
we take leave to remind this would-be philosopher 
that "the idea which entered into the minds of those 
to whom the account was first given," (p. 230,) is not 
the question with which we have to do when we are 
invited to a " frank recognition of the erroneous views 
of Nature which the Bible contains." (p. 211.) "It 
is manifest," (in this I cordially agree with Mr. 
Goodwin,) "that the whole account is given from 
a different point of view from that which we now un- 
avoidably take :" (p. 223 :) and, (I beg leave to add,) 
that point of view is somewhere in Heaven, not here 
on Earth ! The " Mosaic Cosmogony," as Mr. Good- 
win phrases it, (fond, like all other smatterers in 
Science, of long words,) is a Revelation : and the same 
HOLY GHOST who gave it, speaking by the mouth of 
St. John, not obscurely intimates that it is mystical, 
like the rest of Holy Scripture, that is, that it was 
fashioned not without a reference to the Gospel p . 

half of the phrase is " proleptical," the other half not : for the 
creation of Earth is nowhere recorded, if not in ver. 1. ... But surely 
it is a waste of words to discuss such " difficulties" as these. 

P Consider especially Heb. iv. 9 and 10; and consider, (besides 
Exod. xx. 11,) Deut. v. 15. See also Col. ii. 17. 


But we are touching on a high subject now, of which 
Mr. Goodwin does not understand so much as the 
Grammar. He is thinking of the structure of the 
globe : we are thinking of the structure of the Bible. 
But to return to Earth, we inform the Essayist that it 
is simply unphilosophical, even absurd, for him to 
insist on what shall be implied by certain words em- 
ployed by Moses, (of which he judges by their ety- 
mology ;) and further to assume what erroneous phy- 
sical theories those words must have been connected 
with, by his countrymen, and so forth ; and straight- 
way to hold up the greatest of the ancient prophets 
to ridicule, as if those notions and those theories were 
all Ms! 

" After all," (as Dr. Buckland remarked, long since,) 
"it should be recollected that the question is not re- 
specting the correctness of the Mosaic narrative, but 
of our interpretation of it:" (p. 231:) "a proposi- 
tion," (proceeds Mr. Goodwin,) "which can hardly be 
sufficiently reprobated." But I make no question 
which of these two writers is most entitled to repro- 
bation. For the view which will be found advocated 
in Sermon II., (which is substantially Dr. Buckland' s,) 
(p. 24 to p. 32,) it shall but be said that it recom- 
mends itself to our acceptance by the strong fact that 
it takes no liberty with the sacred narrative, what- 
ever; and receives the Eevelation of GOD in all its 
strangeness, (which it cannot be a great mistake to 
do ;) without trying to reconcile it with supposed dis- 
coveries, (wherein we may fail altogether.) I defy 
anybody to shew that it is impossible that GOD may 
have disposed of the actual order of the Universe, as 
in the first chapter of Genesis He is related to have 
done; and probability can clearly have no place in 


such a speculation. I would only just remind the 
thoughtful student of Scripture, and indeed of Nature 
also, that the singular analogy which Geologists think 
they discover between successive periods of Creation, 
and the Mosaic record of the first Six Days, is no 
difficulty to those who hesitate to identify those Days 
with the irregular Periods of indefinite extent. Ba- 
ther was it to have been expected, I think, that such 
an analogy would be found to subsist between His 
past and His present working, when, 6,000 years ago, 
GOD arranged the actual system of things in Six 
Days. Neither need we feel perplexed if Hugh Miller 
was right in the conclusion at which, he says, he had 
been " compelled to arrive;" viz, that "not a few" 
of the extant species of animals " enjoyed life in their 
present haunts" "for many long ages ere Man was 
ushered into being ;" " and that for thousands of years 
anterior to even their appearance many of the existing 
molluscs lived in our seas." (p. 229.) I find it no- 
where asserted ly Moses that the severance was so 
complete, and decisively marked, between previous 
cycles of Creation and that cycle which culminated in 
the creation of Man, that no single species of the pra3- 
Adamic period was reproduced by the Omnipotent, 
to serve as a connecting link, as it were, between the 
Old world and the New, an identifying note of the 
Intelligence which was equally at work on this last, 
as on all those former occasions. On the other hand, 
I do find it asserted by Geologists that between the 
successive pree-Adamic cycles such connecting links 
are discoverable; and this fact makes me behold in 
the circumstance supposed fatal to the view here 
advocated, the strongest possible confirmation of its 
accuracy. At the same time, it is admitted that in 


every department of animated and vegetable life, the 
severance between the last (or Mosaic) cycle of Crea- 
tion, and all those cycles which preceded it, is very 
broadly marked p . 

Mr. Goodwin's method contrasts sadly with that 
of the several writers he adduces, i whether Natural- 
ists or Divines. Those men, believing in the truth of 
GOD'S Word, have piously endeavoured, (with what- 
ever success,) to shew that the discoveries of Geology 
are not inconsistent with the revelations of Genesis. 
But he, with singular bad taste, (to use no stronger 
language,) makes no secret of the animosity with 
which he regards the inspired record ; and even finds 
"the spectacle of able, and we doubt not conscien- 
tious writers engaging in attempting the impossible, 
painful and humiliating." He says, " they evidently 
do not breathe freely over their work ; but shuffle and 
stumble over their difficulties in a piteous manner." 
(p. 250.) He asserts dogmatically that " the inter- 
pretation proposed by Buckland to be given to the 
Mosaic description, will not bear a moment's serious 
discussion:" (p. 230:) while Hugh Miller "proposes 
to give an entirely mythical or enigmatical sense to 
the Mosaic narrative." (p. 236.) He is clamorous 
that we should admit the teaching of Scripture to be 
"to some extent erroneous." (p. 251.) He "recog- 
nizes in it, not an authentic utterance of Divine Know- 
ledge, but a human utterance." (p. 253.) "Why 

P " There have been found within the area of these islands up- 
wards of 15,000 species of once living things, every one differing 
specifically from those of the present Creation. Agassiz states that, 
with the exception of one small fossil fish, (discovered in the clay- 
stones of Greenland,) he has not found any creature of this class, 
in all the Geological strata, identical with any fish now living'* 
(Pattison's The Earth and the World, p. 27.) 


should we hesitate," (he asks,) " to recognize the falli- 
bility of the Hebrew writers?" (p. 251.) 

"With one general reflexion, I pass on to the next 
Essay. The Works of GOD, the more severely they 
have been questioned, have hitherto been considered 
to bear a more and more decisive testimony to the 
Wisdom and the Goodness of their Author. The animal 
and the vegetable kingdoms have been made Man's 
instructors for ages past; and ever since the micro- 
scope has revealed so many unsuspected wonders, the 
argument from contrivance and design, Creative Power 
and infinite Wisdom, has been pressed with increasing 
cogency. The Heavens, from the beginning, have 
been felt to " declare the glory of GOD." One depart- 
ment only of Nature, alone, has all along remained 
unexplored. Singular to relate, the Eecords of Crea- 
tion, (as the phenomena of Geology may I suppose be 
properly called,) though the most obvious phenomena 
of all, have been throughout neglected. It was not 
till the other day that they were invited to give up 
their weighty secrets ; and lo, they have confessed 
them, willingly and at once. The study of Geology 
does but date from yesterday ; and already it aspires 
to the rank of a glorious Science. Evidence has been 
at once furnished that our Earth has been the scene 
of successive cycles of Creation ; and the crust of the 
globe we inhabit is found to contain evidence of a de- 
gree of antiquity which altogether defies conjecture. 
The truth is, that Man, standing on a globe where 
his deepest excavations bear the same relation to the 
diameter which the scratch of a pin invisible to 
the naked eye, bears to an ordinary globe; learns 
that his powers of interrogating Nature break down 
marvellous soon: yet Nature is observed to keep 


from him no secrets which he has the ability to ask 
her to give up. 

In the meantime, the attitude assumed by certain 
pretenders to Physical Science at these discoveries, 
cannot fail to strike any thoughtful person as extra- 
ordinary. Those witnesses of GOD'S work in Creation, 
which have been dumb for ages only because no man 
ever thought of interrogating them, are now regarded 
in the light of depositaries of a mighty secret ; which, 
because GOD knew that it would be fatal to the credit 
of His written Word, He had bribed them to keep 
back, as long as, by shuffling and equivocation, they 
found concealment practicable. It seems to be fancied, 
however, that that fatal secret the determination of 
Man has wrung from their unwilling lips, at last ; and 
lo, on confronting GOD with these witnesses, He is 
convicted even by His own creatures of having spoken 
falsely in His Word q . Such, I say, is the tone as- 

q I allude to such passages as the following, all of which are to 
be found in Mr. Goodwin's Essay : 

" We are asked to believe that a vision of creation was presented 
to him (Moses) by Divine power, for the purpose of enabling him to 
inform the world of what he had seen ; which vision inevitably led 
him to give a description which has misled the world for centuries, 
and in which the truth can now only with difficulty be recognized." 
(p. 247.) "The theories [of Hugh Miller and of Dr. Buckland] as- 
sume that appearances only, not facts, are described ; and that, in 
riddles which would never have been suspected to be such, had we 
not arrived at the truth from other sources." (p. 249.) " For ages, 
this simple view of Creation satisfied the wants of man, and formed 
a sufficient basis of theological teaching:" but "modern research 
now shews it to be physically untenable." (p. 253.) 

" The writer asserts solemnly and unhesitatingly that for which 
he must have known that he had no authority." But this was only 
because " the early speculator was harassed by no such scruples" 
as " arise from our modern habits of thought, and from the modesty 
of assertion (!) which the spirit of true science has taught us." 


sumed of late by a certain school of pretenders to 
Physical Science. 

What need to declare that to the well-informed eye 
of Faith, (and surely Faith is here the perfection 
of Eeason ! for Faith, remember, is the correlative 
not of Reason, but of Sight f] the phenomenon pre- 
sented is of a widely different character. Faith, or 
rather Eeason, looks upon GOD'S Works as a kind of 
complement of His Word. He who gave the one, gave 
the other also. Moreover, He knew that He had 
given it. So far from ministering to unbelief, or 
even furnishing grounds for perplexity, the record 
of His Works was intended, according to His gracious 
design, to supply what was lacking to our knowledge 
in the record of His Word. ..." Behold My footprints, 
(He seems to say,) across the long tract of the ages ! 
I could not give you this evidence in My written 
Word. The record would have been out of place, 
and out of time. It would have been unintelligible 
also. Eut what I knew would be inexpedient in the 
page of Eevelation, I have given you abundantly in 
the page of Nature, I have spared your globe from 
combustion, which would have effaced those footprints, 
in order that the characters might be plainly de- 
cipherable to the end of Time fools and blind, 

to have occupied a world so brimful of wonders for 
wellnigh 6000 years, and only now to have begun to 
open your eyes to the structure of the earth whereon 
ye live, and move, and have your being ! Yea, and 
the thousandth part of the natural wonders by which 
ye are surrounded has not been so much as dreamed of, 

He therefore " asserted as facts what he knew in reality only as 
probabilities. ... He had seized one great truth. . . . With regard 
to details, observation failed him." (pp. 252-3.) 


by any of you, yet ! .... learn to be the humbler, 
the more ye know; and when ye gaze along the 
mighty vista of departed ages, and scan the traces of 
what I was doing before I created Man, multiply 
that problem by the stars which are scattered in 
number numberless over all the vault of Heaven ; and 
learn to confess that it behoves the creature of an 
hour to bow his head at the discovery of his own 
littleness and blindness ; and that his words concern- 
ing the Ancient of Days had need to be at once very 
wary, and very few !" 

VI. By far the ablest of these seven Essays is from 
the pen of the "KEV. MAKE PATTISON, B.D., Eector of 
Lincoln College, Oxford." It purports to be an Essay 
LAND, 1688 1750;" but it can hardly be said to 
correspond with that description. In the concluding 
paragraph, the learned writer gives to his work a dif- 
ferent name. It is declared to be " The past History 
of the Theory of Belief in the Church of England"^ 
But neither the title at the head, nor the title at the 
tail of the Essay, gives any adequate notion of the 
Author's purpose. 

Had we met with this production, isolated, in the 
pages of a Eeview, we should have probably passed it 
by as the work of a clever man, who, after amusing 
himself to some extent with the Theological literature 
of the last century, had desired to preserve some record 
of his reading ; and had here thrown his random jot- 
tings into connected form. There is a racy freshness 
in a few of Mr. Pattison's sketches, (as in his account 
of Bentley's controversy with Collins s ,) which forcibly 
p. 329. s pp. 307-309. 


suggests the image of an artist whose pencil cannot 
rest amid scenery which stimulates his imagination. 
To be candid, we are inclined to suspect that, in the 
first instance, something of this sort was in reality all 
that the learned author had in view. But we are 
reluctantly precluded from putting so friendly a con- 
struction on these seventy-six pages. Not only does 
Mr.Pattison's Essay stand between Mr. Goodwin's open 
endeavour to destroy confidence in the writings of 
Moses, and Professor Jowett's laborious insinuations 
that the Bible is only an ordinary book ; but it claims 
a common purpose and intention with both those 
writers. Mr. Pattison's avowed object is "to illus- 
trate the advantage derivable to the cause of religious 
and moral truth, from a free handling, in a becoming 
spirit, of subjects peculiarly liable to suffer by the re- 
petition of conventional language, and from traditional 
methods of treatment 1 ." We proceed therefore to 
examine his labours by the aid of the clue which he 
has himself supplied. For when nine editions of a 
book appear in quick succession, prefaced by a de- 
scription of the spirit in which " it is hoped that the 
volume will be received," it seems a pity that the 
author should not be judged by the standard of his 
own choosing. 

"We are surprised then to find how slightly Mr. 

Pattison's Essay fulfils its avowed purpose. The 

learned author does not, in fact, directly "handle" 

the class of subjects referred to, at all: or if he does, 

it is achieved in a couple of pages. And yet it is not 

difficult to point out the part which his Essay performs 

in the general scheme of this guilty volume. With 

whatever absence of " concert or comparison" the 

* Notice prefixed to Essays and Reviews. 



authors may have severally written, the fatal effect 
of their combined endeavours is not more apparent 
than the part sustained by each Essay singly in pro- 
moting it. 

While Mr. Goodwin demolishes the Law, and Dr. 
Williams disbelieves the Prophets; while Professor 
Powell denies the truth of Miracles, and Professor 
Jowett evacuates the authority of Holy Scripture alto- 
gether ; while Dr. Temple substitutes the inner light 
of Conscience for an external Eevelation; and Mr. 
Wilson teaches men how they may turn the substance 
of Holy Scripture into a shadow, evade the plain force 
of language, and play fast and loose with those safe- 
guards which it has been ever thought that words 
supply ; Mr. Pattison, reviewing the last century and 
a half of our own Theological history, labours hard to 
produce an impression that, here also "all is vanity 
and vexation of spirit." He calls off our attention 
from .the Bible, and bids us contemplate the unlovely 
aspect of the English "religious world" from the 
Revolution of 1688 down to the publication of the 
' Tracts for the Times,' in 1833 u . " Ee content for 
a while, (he seems to say,) to disregard the prize ; and 
observe the combatants instead. Listen to the his- 
torian of moral and religious progress," while he de- 
picts " decay of religion, licentiousness of morals, 
public corruption, profaneness of language, a day of 
rebuke and blasphemy." Come attend to me ; and I 
will draw the likeness of "an age destitute of depth 
or earnestness; an age whose poetry was without 
romance, whose philosophy was without insight, and 
whose public men were without character ; an age of 
4 light without love,' whose ' very merits were of the 

u p. 255. 


earth, earthy.' " (p. 254.) " If we would understand 
our own position in the Church, and that of the Church 
in the age ; if we would hold any clue through the 
maze of religious pretension which surrounds us ; we 
cannot neglect those immediate agencies in the pro- 
duction of the present, which had their origin towards 
the beginning of the eighteenth century." (p. 256.) 
Let us then " trace the descent of religious thought, 
and the practical working of the religious ideas," (p. 
255,) through some of the phases they have more 
recently assumed. You shall see the Apostles tried 
on a charge " of giving false witness in the case of the 
Eesurrection of JESUS ;" (p. 303 ;) and pronounced 
"not guilty," by one whose " name once commanded 
universal homage among us ;" but who now, (!) with 
South (! !) and Barrow, (! ! !) " excites perhaps only 
a smile of pity." (p. 265.) You shall be shewn Bent- 
ley in his attack on Collins the freethinker, enjoying 
"rare sport," "rat-hunting in an old rick;" and 
" laying about him in high glee, braining an authority 
at every blow." (p. 308.) " Coarse, arrogant, and 
abusive, with all Bentley's worst faults of style and 
temper, this masterly critique is decisive." (p. 307.) 
And yet, you are not to rejoice ! " The ' Discourse of 
Freethinking' was a small tract published in 1713 by 
Anthony Collins, a gentleman whose high personal 
character and general respectability seemed to give 
a weight to his words, which assuredly they do not 
carry of themselves." (p. 307.) [Why, the man ought 
to have been an Essayist and Ee viewer !]..." By 
1 freethinking' " he does but " mean liberty of thought, 
the right of bringing all received opinions what- 
soever to the touchstone of reason :" (p. 307 :) [a liberty 
which has evidently disappeared from English Litera- 



ture : a right which no man dares any longer exercise 
under pain of excommunication !] " Collins was not 
a sharper, and would have disdained practices to which 
Bentley stooped for the sake of a professorship." (p. 
310.) [0 high-minded Collins !] " The dirt endea- 
voured to be thrown on Collins will cleave to the hand 
that throws it." (p. 309.) [0 dirty Bentley !] And 
though " Collins's mistakes, mistranslations, miscon- 
ceptions, and distortions are so monstrous, that it is 
difficult for us now, forgetful how low classical learn- 
ing had sunk, to believe that they are mistakes, and 
not wilful errors," (p. 308,) yet " Addison, the pride 
of Oxford, had done no better. In his ' Essay on the 
Evidences of Christianity,' Addison i assigns as grounds 
for his religious belief, stories as absurd as that of the 
Cock- lane ghost, and forgeries as rank as Ireland's 
< Yortigern ;' puts faith in the lie about the thunder- 
ing legion; is convinced that Tiberius moved the 
Senate to admit JESUS among the gods; and pro- 
nounces the letter of Agbarus, King of Edessa, to be 
a record of great authority.' " (p. 307, quoting Ma- 
caulay's Essays.} All this and much more you shall 
see. Eemember that it is the history of your imme- 
diate forefathers which you will be contemplating, 
the morality of the professors of religion during the 
last century, " the past history of the theory of 
Belief in the Church of England !" (p. 329.) 

The curtain falls ; and now, pray how do you 
like it? I invite you, in conclusion, to "take the 
religious literature of the present day, as a whole ; 
and endeavour to make out clearly on what basis 
Eevelation is supposed by it to rest; whether on 
Authority, on the Inward Light, on Eeason, on self- 
evidencing Scripture, or on the combination of the 


four, or some of them, and in what proportions." 
(p. 329.) .... After this, you are at liberty to pro- 
ceed to read 'Jowett on Inspiration,' with what 
appetite you may ! 

Such is the impression which Mr. Pattison's Essay 
is calculated to leave behind. That he had no wicked 
intention in writing it, no one who knows him could 
for an instant suppose : but the effect of what he has 
done is certainly to set his reader adrift on a dreary 
sea of doubt. Discomfort and dissatisfaction, confu- 
sion and dismay, are the prevailing sentiments with 
which a religious mind, unfortified with learning, 
will rise from the perusal of the present Essay : while 
the irreligious man will study it with a sneer of ill- 
concealed satisfaction. The marks of Mr. Pattison's 
own better knowledge, (sufficiently evident to the 
quick eye of one who is aware of the writer's high 
theological attainments ;) the indications of a truer 
individual judgment, (discoverable throughout by one 
who knows the author's private worth, and is himself 
happily in possession of the clue by which to escape 
from this tangled labyrinth :) these escape the com- 
mon reader. To him, all is dreary doubt. 

I must perforce deal with Mr. Pattison's labours 
in a very summary manner. The chief complaint I 
have to make against him is that he has altogether 
omitted what, to you and to me, is the most important 
feature of the century which he professes to describe, 
namely, the vast amount of lofty Churchmanship, 
the unbroken Catholic tradition, which, with no small 
amount of general short - coming, is to be traced 
throughout the eighteenth century. To insinuate that 
the return to Catholic principles began with the publir 
cation of the < Tracts for the Times,' (p. 259,) in 1833, 


is simply to insinuate what is not true. But Mr. 
Pattison does more than ' insinuate.' He states it 
openly. " In constructing Catenae Patrum" (he says,) 
" the Anglican closes his list with Waterland or 
Brett, and leaps at once to 1833." (p. 255.) Now, 
since Waterland died in 1740 and Brett in 1743, it 
is clear that, (according to Mr. Pattison,) a hundred 
years and upwards have to be cleared per saltwm : 
during which the lamp of Eeligion in these kingdoms 
had gone fairly out. But how stands the truth? At 
least four " Catenae Patrum" are given in the "Tracts 
for the Times x ;" not one of which is closed with 
"Waterland or Brett. On the contrary, in the two 
former Catenae (beginning with Jewel and Hooker) 
the names of these supposed ' ultimi Eomanorum' occur 
little more than half way! . . . "Les faits," therefore, 
(as usual with i Essayists and Ee viewers,') " les faits 
sont contraires" It would be enough to cite Bethell's 
1 General View of the Doctrine of Eegeneration in Bap- 
tism,' which appeared in 1822; and Hugh James 
Eose's i Discourses on the Commission and Duties of 
the Clergy,' which were preached in 1826. But the 
case against Mr. Pattison, as I shall presently shew, 
is abundantly stronger. 

In short, to exclude from sight, as this author so 
laboriously endeavours to do, the Catholic element of 
the last century and the early part of the present, 
is extremely unfair. There had never failed in the 
Church of England a succession of illustrious men, 
who transmitted the Divine fire unimpaired, down 
to yesterday. Quenched in some places, the flame 
burned up brightly and beautifully in others. As 
for the < Tracts for the Times,' they speedily assumed 
* Nos. 74, 76, 78, 81. 


a party character : and by the time that ninety- seven 
of them had appeared, the series was discontinued by 
the desire of the Diocesan, who was yet the friend 
of its authors. The Tracts do not all, by any means, 
represent Anglican (i.e. Catholic) Theology. They 
were written by a very few men ; while the greatest 
of those who had materially promoted the Catholic 
movement out of which they sprang, (not which they 
occasioned^} were dissatisfied with them ; would not 
write in them; kept aloof; and foresaw and foretold 
what would be the issue of such teaching 7 . And 
yet, i Tracts for the Times ' did more good than evil, 
I suppose, on the whole. 

The truth is, that in every age, (and the last cen- 
tury forms no exception to the rule,) the history of 
the Church on Earth has been a warfare. Mr. Patti- 
son says contemptuously, " The current phrases of 
1 the bulwarks of our faith,' ' dangerous to Christianity,' 
are but instances of the habitual position in which we 
assume ourselves to stand. Even more philosophic 
minds cannot get rid of the idea that Theology is 
polemical." (p. 301.) And pray, whom have we to 
thank, but such writers as Mr. Pattison, that it is so ? 
I am one of the many who at this hour are (unwillingly) 
neglecting constructive tasks in order to be destructive 
with Mr. Pattison and his colleagues ! So long as In- 
fidelity abounds, our service must be a warfare. l The 
Prince of Peace ' foretold as much, when He prophesied 
to His Disciples that it would be found that He had 
" brought on earth, a sword." As much was typically 
adumbrated, I suspect, (begging Mr. Jowett's pardon,) 
when, at the rebuilding of the walls of the Holy City, 
"they which builded on the wall, and they that bare 
y I allude particularly to the late Hugh James Rose, B.D. 


burdens, with those that laded, every one with one 
of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other 
hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had 
his sword girded by his side, and so builded z ." May 
I not add that the unique position which the Church 
of England has occupied, ever since her great Eefor- 
mation in respect both of Doctrine and of Discipline 
three centuries ago, is of a nature which must in- 
evitably subject her to constant storms? An object 
of envy to ' Protestant Europe,' and of hatred to 
Eome ; exposed to the hostility of the State, (which 
would trample her under foot, if it dared,) and 
viewed with ill-concealed animosity by Dissenters of 
every class \ admitting into her Ministry men of 
very diverse views, and restraining them by scarcely 
any discipline ; allowing perfect freedom, aye, licen- 
tiousness of discussion, and tolerating the expression 
of almost any opinions, except those of Essayists and 
Reviewers : how shall the Church of England fail to 
adopt ' the bulwarks of the faith ' for one of her cur- 
rent phrases ? how not, many a time, deem ' dangerous 
to Christianity ' the speculations of her sons ? . . . . 
Nay, polemics must prevail; if only because, in a 
certain place, the Divine Speaker already quoted 
foretells the partial, (if not the entire^} obscuration 
even of true Doctrine, in that pathetic exclamation 
of His, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He 

find the faith upon the Earth a ?" In the face of 

all this, it is to confuse and mystify the ordinary 
reader to draw such a picture of the last century as 
Mr. Pattison has drawn here. As dismal a view might 
be easily taken of the first, of the second, of the third, 
of the fourth, of the fifth century. What Mr. New- 
1 Neh. iv. 17, 18. St. Luke xviii. 8. 


man once designated as " ancient, holy, and happy 
times," might very easily indeed be so exhibited as 
to seem times of confusion and discord, blasphemy 
and rebuke. A discouraging picture might be drawn, 
(I suppose,) of every age of the Church's history. 
But in, and by itself, it would never be quite a true 
picture. For to the eye of Faith there is ever to be 
descried, amid the hurly-burly of the storm, the Ark 
of CHRIST'S Church floating peacefully over the trou- 
bled waters, and making steadily for that Heavenly 
haven " where it would be." .... Yes, there is ever 
some blessed trace discoverable, that this Life of ours 
is watched over by One whose Name is Love ; whe- 
ther we con the chequered page of History, Eccle- 
siastical or Civil ; or summon to our aid the story of 
our own narrow experience. From the fierce and 
fiery opposition, Good is ever found to have resulted ; 
and that Good was abiding. Out of the weary conflict 
ever has issued Peace ; and that Peace was of the kind 
which i passeth all understanding ;' a Peace which the 
world cannot give, no, nor take away. There are 
abundant traces that in all that has happened to the 
Church of CHRIST, from first to last, there has been 
a purpose and a plan ! . . . . No one knows this better 
than Mr. Pattison. No man in Oxford could have 
drawn out what I have been saying into a convincing 
reality, better than he, had he yielded to the instincts 
of a good heart, and directed his fine abilities to their 
lawful scope. 

The character of the last dismal century, Mr. Patti- 
son has drawn with sufficient vividness : but that 
century armed the Church, (as we shall be presently 
reminded,) on the side of the " Evidences of Eeli- 
gion ;" and if it taught her the insufficiency of such 


a method, the eighteenth century did its work. Above 
all, it produced Bishop Sutler. The previous century, 
(the seventeenth,) witnessed the supremacy of fana- 
ticism. It saw the monarchy laid prostrate, and the 
Church trampled under foot, and the use of the Liturgy 
prohibited by Act of Parliament. The " Sufferings of 
the Clergy " fill a folio volume. But this was the cen- 
tury which produced our great Caroline Divines ! From 
Bp. Andre wes to Bp. Pearson, what a galaxy of names ! 
Moreover, on the side of the Eomish controversy, the 
seventeenth century supplied the Church's armoury 
for ever, Stillingfleet, who died in the year 1699, in 
a manner closing the strife. The sixteenth century 
witnessed the Eeformation of Eeligion, with all its 
inevitably attendant evils ; an unsettled faith, gross 
public and private injustice, an illiterate parochial 
clergy: yet how goodly a body of sound Divinity 
did the controversies of that age call forth ! The same 
century witnessed the rise of Puritanism ; but then, 
it produced Eichard Hooker! What was the cha- 
racter of the century which immediately preceded the 
Eeformation, the fifteenth? .... A tangled web of 
good and evil has been the Church's history from the 
very first. The counterpart of what we read of in 
Eusebius and Socrates is to be witnessed among our- 
selves at the present day, and will doubtless be wit- 
nessed to the end ! But then, in days of deepest dis- 
couragement, faithful men have never been found 
wanting to the English Church, (no, nor GOD helping 
her, ever will!) who, like the late Hugh James Eose, 
" when hearts were failing, bade us stir up the gift 
that was in us, and betake ourselves to our true 
Mother." Meanwile, such names as George Herbert 
and Nicholas Farrar, Ken and Nelson, Leighton and 


Bishop Wilson, shine through the gloom like a con- 
stellation of quiet stars; to which the pilgrim lifts 
his weary eye, and feels that he is looking up to 
Heaven ! 

When the spirit of the Age comes into collision 
with the spirit of the Gospel, the result is sometimes 
(as in the earliest centuries,) portentous ; sometimes, 
(as in the last,) simply deplorable and grievous. The 
battle which seems to be at present waging is of 
a different nature. Physical Science has undertaken 
the perilous task of hardening herself against the GOD 
of Nature. We shall probably see this unnatural 
strife prolonged for many years to come ; to be suc- 
ceeded by some fresh form of irreligion. Somewhat 
thus, I apprehend, will it be to the end : and the men 
of every age will in those conflicts find their best pro- 
bation ; and it will still be the office of the Creator, 
in this way to separate the Light from the Darkness, 
until the dawn of the everlasting Morning ! 

It is not proposed to enter into the Eationalism 
of the last century, therefore ; or to inquire into the 
causes of the barren lifeless shape into which Theology 
then, for the most part, threw itself. I have never 
made that department of Ecclesiastical History my 
study : and who does not turn away from what is joy- 
less and dreary, to greener meadows, and more fertile 
fields? It shall only be remarked that when the 
Credibility of Eeligion is the thing generally denied, 
Evidences will of necessity be the form which much 
of the Theological writing of the Day will assume. 
Let it not be imagined for an instant that one is the 
apologist of what Mr. Pattison has characterized as 
"an age of Light without Love." (p. 254.) But 
I insist that the theological picture of the last century 



is incomplete, until attention has been called to the 
many redeeming features which it presents, and which 
are all of a re-assuring kind. 

Thus, in the department of sacred scholarship, who 
can forget that our learned John Mill, in 1707, gave 
to the world that famous edition of the New Testament 
which bears his name, after thirty years of patient 
toil? Who can forget our obligations in Hebrew, 
to Kennicott? (17181783.) Humphrey Hody's 
great work on the Text, and older Yersions of Holy 
Scripture, was published in 1705. Bingham's im- 
mortal ' Origines' began to appear in 1708; and 
William Cave lived till 1714. 

In the same connexion should be mentioned Bp. 
Gibson, who died in 1748, and Humphrey Prideaux, 
whose ' Connexion' is dated 1715. Pococke died on 
the eve of the commencement of the last century 
(1691) ; but so great a name casts a bright beam 
through the darkness which Mr. Pattison describes so 
forcibly. Archbishop Wake died in 1737. Warton, 
the author of i Anglia Sacra,' died at the age of 35 
in 1695. 

Survey next the field of Divinity, properly so called ; 
and in the face of Mr. Pattison's rash statement that 
"we have no classical Theology since 1660," (p. 265,) 
take notice that Bp. Bull, one of the greatest Divines 
which the Church of CHRIST ever bred, did not begin 
to write until 1669, and lived to the year 1709. This 
was the man, remember, who received the thanks of 
the whole Gallican Church for his l Judicium Ecclesise 
Catholicse,' (i. e. his learned assertion of our SAVIOUR'S 
GoDhead b ;) the man whose writings would have won 
him the reverence and affection of Athanasius and 
b See Nelson's Life of Bull, p. 329, &c. 


Augustine and Basil, had he lived in their day ; for 
he had a mind like theirs. Bp. Pearson did not die 
till 1686. ' Bp. Beveridge wrote till his death in 1707. 
Fell, the learned editor of Cyprian, died in 1686 : 
Stillingfleet lived till 1699. Wall's History of In- 
fant Baptism appeared in 1705. Wheatly, who led 
the way in liturgical inquiry, was alive till 1742 ; 
and Bp. Patrick was a prolific writer till his death in 
1707. May we not also claim the excellent and 
learned Grabe as altogether one of ourselves ? 

Such names do not require special comment. They 
are their own best eulogium, and present a high title 
to their country's gratitude. The name of Prebendary 
Lowth, (the author of an excellent commentary on 
the prophets,) reminds us that there was living till 
1732 one who fully appreciated the calling of an 
Interpreter of GOD'S Word c . Bishop Lowth his son, 
in his great work, (1753,) recovered the forgotten 
principle of Hebrew poetry. To convince ourselves 
what a spirit existed in some quarters, (notwithstand- 
ing the general spread of the very opinions which 
' Essayists and Keviewers' have been so industriously 
reproducing in our own day,) it is only necessary 
to transcribe the title-page of S. Parker's excellent 
'Bibliotheca Biblica,' a Commentary on the Penta- 
teuch, 1720 1735; ' gathered out of the genuine 
writings of Fathers, Ecclesiastical Historians, and Acts 
of Councils down to the year of our LORD 451, being 
that of the fourth General Council; and lower, as 
occasion may require.' That learned man designed to 
achieve a Commentary on the whole Bible on the same 
laborious plan ; but his labours and his life, (at the age 
of 50,) were brought to an end in 1730. Dr. Water- 
c See his admirable Preface. 


land, born in 1683, and Dr. Jackson, born in 1686, 
two great names ! died respectively in 1740 and 
1763. In 1778, appeared Dr. Townson's admirable 
' Discourses on the Gospels. 5 The author lived till 
1792. Pious Bp.Horne (17301792) has left the 
best evidence of his ability as a Divine in the Intro- 
duction to his Commentary on the Psalms. Jones of 
Nayland is found to have lived till 1800. Bp. Horsley, 
a great champion of orthodoxy of belief, as well as 
an excellent commentator, critic, and Sermon writer, 
lived till 1806. Not seven years have elapsed since 
there was to be seen among ourselves a venerable 
Divine, who was declared in 1838, by the chief pro- 
moter of the i Tracts for the Times,' to have " been 
reserved to report to a forgetful generation what was 
the Theology of their Fathers d ." Martin Joseph 
Eouth, died in 1854, after completing a century of 
years. In 1832 appeared his i Scriptorum Ecclesiasti- 
corum Opuscula.' His ' Eeliquee Sacra3 ? had appeared 
in 1814. The work was undertaken so far back as 
1788. The last volume appeared in 1848, and con- 
cluded with a Catena of authorities on the great 
question which was denied by the unbelievers of the 
last century, and is denied by the ' Essayists and 
Beviewers' of this 6 . Here then was one who had 
borne steady witness in the Church of England to 
what is her genuine Catholic teaching from a period 
dating long before the birth of any one who was con- 
cerned with the f Tracts for the Times.' 

d Newman's dedication of his * Lectures on Romanism and 
popular Protestantism.' 

e See the ' Monitum' prefixed to Dr. Routh's Testimonies De 
Auctoritate S. Scripturce Ante-Nicana. Reliqq. Sacra, vol. v. 
p. 335. 


More ancient names present themselves as furnish- 
ing exceptions to Mr. Pattison's dreary sentence. 
From Abp. Potter and Leslie, down to Abp. Laurence 
and Van Mildert, how many might yet be specified ! 
"We have not hitherto mentioned Abp. Leighton, who 
died in 1684 : Hickes, Johnson, and Brett, who sur- 
vived respectively till 1715, 1725, and 1743: the 
truly apostolic Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man (1663 
1755,) a name, by the way, which deserves far 
more distinct and emphatic notice than can here be 
bestowed upon it; and Nelson, the pious author of 
* Fasts and Festivals, 7 who died in 1715. We had 
good Iz. Walton, till 1683, and holy Ken till 1711. 
Richard Hele, author of ' Select Offices,' (which ap- 
peared in 1717,) is a name not forgotten in Heaven 
certainly, though little known on Earth ; while Kettle- 
well and Scandret begin a Catena of which good 
Bishop Jolly would be only one of the later links. 
Meanwhile, the reader is requested to take notice that 
there were many other excellent Divines of the period 
under consideration, (as Long and Horbery ;) men 
who made no great figure indeed, but who were evi- 
dently persons of great piety and sound judgment ; 
while their learning puts that of ' Essayists and Be- 
viewers' altogether to the blush. 

But I have reserved for the last, a truly noble 
name, which Mr. Pattison, (with singular bad taste, 
to say no worse,) mentions only to disparage. I al- 
lude to Dr. Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham ; whose 
1 Analogy of Beligion, Natural and Bevealed, to the 
Constitution and Course of Nature, 5 remains, at the 
end of a century, unanswerable as an Apology, 
unrivalled as a text-book, unexhausted as a mine 
of suggestive thought. It may be convenient for an 


Essayist and Ee viewer' to declare that " the merit of 
the Analogy lies in its want of originality." (p. 286.) 
There was not much originality perhaps in the remark 
that an apple falls to the ground. Whatever the 
faults of the Analogy, that work, under GOD, saved 
the Church. However " depressing to the soul" (p. 293.) 
of Mr. Pattison, it is nevertheless a book which will 
invigorate Faith, and brighten Hope, and comfort 
Charity herself, long after the spot where he and 
I shall sleep has been forgotten : long after our very 
names will be hard to find. 

* Let me turn from this illustrious individual, to one 
whose very name is perhaps unknown. One loves to 
think that there are at all times plenty of good men, 
who are doing GOD'S work in the world, in quiet 
corners ; but whose names do not perhaps rise to the 
surface and emerge into notice, throughout the whole 
of a long life. Conversely, how many must there be, 
the blessing of whose example and influence has ex- 
tended down from the surface, (where perhaps it was 
acknowledged and appreciated by all,) until it made 
itself felt by the humblest units of a lowly country 
parish ! . . . The obscure village of Finmere, (in Ox- 
fordshire,) was so happy as to enjoy for its Eector, 
from 1734 to 1771, the Eev. Thomas Long, M.A., 
" a man," (says the Eegister,) " of the most exemplary 
piety and charity." He presented to the church twelve 
acres of land, " charging it with a yearly payment of 
fifteen shillings to the Clerk, as a recompense to him for 
attending on the Fasts and Festivals ; and ordering six- 
pence to be deducted from the payment, for each time 
the Clerk failed to attend on those days, unless let 
by sickness." About ten years ago, there was found 
in the hands of a labouring man at Finmere, a solitary 


copy of a printed " Lecture, " by this individual, " ad- 
dressed to the young persons" of the village, (1762,) 
which begins as follows: "I have usually, once 
every three years, gone through a course of Lectures 
upon the Catechism; but considering my age and 
great infirmities, it is not very probable I should con- 
tinue this practice any longer. I am willing therefore, 
as a small monument of my care and affection for you, 

to print the last of these Lectures," &c What 

heart so dull as not to admit that men like this, (and 
there were many of them !) are quite good enough to 
redeem an age from indiscriminate opprobrium and 
unmitigated contempt ? 

Shall we omit, after this enumeration, to notice the 
singular fact that Discipline still lingered on, even 
the discipline of public penance, until within the 
memory of aged persons yet living? Merchants in 
the city of London wore mourning during Lent, within 
the present century. It is only within the last thirty 
years that formulas expressive of reliance on the Divine 
blessing have been expunged from bills- of-lading, and 
similar printed documents. In the beginning of the 
period discoursed of by Mr. Pattison, (viz, in the year 
1714,) the excellent Eobert Nelson, in " An Address 
to Persons of Quality and Estate," proposed as objects 
for the generosity of the affluent, such institutions as 
the following : " the creating of Charity Schools," 
of " Parochial Libraries in the meanly endowed Cures 
throughout England," of "a superior School for 
training up Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses," and 
of " Colleges or Seminaries for the Candidates of Holy 
Orders." He suggested that there should be " Houses 
of Hospitality for entertaining Strangers ;" " Suffragan 
Bishops, both at home and in the Western Planta.- 



tions;" "Colleges for receiving Converts from Po- 
pery." Some of Nelson's suggestions read like vati- 
cinations. He points out the need of Ladies' Colleges, 
of a Hospital for Incurables, of Eagged Schools, 
(for what else is a school " for the distressed children 
called the Black-guard?"}, and of Houses of Mercy 
for the reception of penitent fallen women. Is it right 
to speak of a century which could freely contemplate 
such works as these and carry into execution many of 
them f , without some allusion to the leaven which was 
at work beneath the dry crust of Society ? the living 
Catholic energy which neither the average dulness 
of the pulpit could quench, nor the lifeless morality 
which had been popularly substituted for Divinity 
could destroy ? 

"We are abundantly prepared therefore for Mr. Pat- 
ti son's admission that " public opinion was throughout 
on the side of the defenders of Christianity :" (p. 313 :) 
that, "however a loose kind of Deism might be the 
tone of fashionable circles, it is clear that distinct dis- 
belief of Christianity was by no means the general 
state of the public mind. The leaders of the Low- 
Church and "Whig party were quite aware of this. 
Notwithstanding the universal complaints of the High- 
Church party of the prevalence of infidelity, it is ob- 
vious that this mode of thinking was confined to a 
very small section of society." (p. 313.) 

And surely it should not escape us that the peculiar 
form which unbelief assumed during the period under 
discussion, resulted in a benefit to the Church. " The 
eighteenth century," (says our author,) " enforced the 

' " In 1781, the first Sunday School was established in England 
by Eobert Kaikes, a publisher and bookseller in Gloucester." 
National Society's Circular. 


truths of Natural Morality with a solidity of argu- 
ment and variety of proof which they have not re- 
ceived since the Stoical epoch, if then." (p. 296.) 
"The career of the Evidential School, its success and 
its failure, has enriched the history of Doctrine," not 
indeed " with a complete refutation of that method as 
an instrument of theological investigation," (p. 297,) 
(witness the immortal ' Analogy' of Bishop Butler !) 
but, certainly with very precious experience. That 
age has bequeathed to the Church a vast body of con- 
troversial writing which she could ill afford to part 
with at the present day. 

So far, we have little to complain of in Mr. Pat- 
tison's Essay, except on the side of omission. But 
for the fatal circumstance of the company in which 
the learned writer comes abroad, and the avowed pur- 
pose with which he is found there, a charitable con- 
struction might have been put upon most of the pre- 
sent performance. The following sentences, on the 
other hand, are not excusable. 

"In the present day when a godless orthodoxy 
threatens, as in the fifteenth century, to extinguish 
religious thought (!) altogether, and nothing is al- 
lowed in the Church of England but the formulae of 
past thinkings, which have long lost all sense of any 
kind, (!) it may seem out of season to be bringing 
forward a misapplication of common-sense in a by- 
gone age." (p. 297.) 

The " orthodoxy" of the fifteenth century is some- 
thing new to us. So is the prospect " in the present 
day," of an " extinction of religious thought," the 
result of " godless orthodoxy." The fault, or the 
misfortune of the Church of England then, is, that she 
retains " the formulce of past thinking s } which ham long 



lost all sense of any kind" (p. 297.) If this does not 
mean the English Book of Common Prayer, what does 
it mean ? And if it means the English Prayer -Book, 
how can Mr. Pattison retain his commission in the 
Church of England, and exclusively employ a Book 
which he presumes so to characterize ? 

But this is ad hominem. The learned writer pro- 
ceeds : " There are times and circumstances when 
religious ideas will be greatly benefited by being 
submitted to the rough and ready tests by which busy 
men try what comes in their way ; by being made to 
stand their trial, and be fully canvassed, coram populo. 
As Poetry is not for the critics, so Eeligion is not for 
the Theologians." (p. 297.) 

No doubt. But does Mr. Pattison then really mean 
to tell us that the proper tribunal before which the 
Creeds, (for example,) of the Catholic Church, our 
Communion and Baptismal offices, the structure of 
our Calendar, and so forth, should "stand their 
trial, and be freely canvassed" is, " coram populo ?" A 
" rough and ready test," this, of Truth, I grant ; aye, 
a very " rough" one. But was it ever, can it eve"r 
be, a fair test ? Let us hear Mr. Pattison out, on 
the subject of [Religion : 

" When it is stiffened into phrases, and these phrases 
are declared to be objects of reverence but not of in- 
telligence, it is on the way to become a useless encum- 
brance ; the rubbish of the past; blocking the road. 
Theology then retires into the position it occupies in 
the Church of Eome at present, an unmeaning frost- 
work of dogma, out of all relation to the actual history 
of Man." (pp. 297-8.) 

It cannot be necessary to discuss such sentiments. 
With Mr. Pattison personally, I will not condescend 


to discuss them, until he has divested himself of that 
" useless encumbrance," and ceased to employ daily 
" that rubbish of the past," which yet the two letters 
he subjoins to his name indicate, in the most solemn 
manner, his reverence for ; and which alone make him 

But speaking to others, speaking to you, my 
friends, let me point out that " the tendencies of 
irreligious thought in England, 1860-1861," are in- 
deed in a direction where the Prayer-Book is found to 
be effectually "blocking up the road." (pp. 297-8.) 
Mr. Pattison is simply dreaming, haunted by the 
phantoms of his own brain, and talking the language 
of the den, when he complains that "the Philo- 
sophy, now petrified into tradition, may once have 
been a vital Faith; but now that" it is "withdrawn 
from public life," has ceased to be a " social influence." 
(p. 298.) And when he would exalt the last century 
at the expence of the present, (pp. 298-9,) he shews 
nothing so much as the morbid state of his own ima- 
gination, the disordered condition of his own mind. 
He has blinded himself; and he will not or he cannot 
see in the healthier tone of our popular Divinity, in 
the increased attention to the study of Holy Scrip- 
ture, in the impulse which Liturgical inquiries have 
received since Wheatly's useful volume appeared ; 
or again, in the immense number of Schools and 
Churches which have been recently built, in the 
marvellous change for the better which has come over 
the Clergy of the Church of England within the pre- 
sent century, in the vast development of our Colonial 
Episcopate within the last few years, in the rapid 
increase of Institutions connected more or less directly 
with the Church, and I will add, in the conspicuous 


loyalty of the nation; a practical refutation of his 
own injurious insinuations; a blessed earnest that 
GOD has not forsaken us; and that we shall yet be 
a blessing to the "World ! The people of England, I 
am persuaded, are in the main very sincerely attached 
to their Prayer-Book. To them, it is not " a useless 
encumbrance, the rubbish of the past, blocking the 
road." Nay, there is a "rough and ready test" of 
what is the current temper of the age in things reli- 
gious, to which I appeal with infinite satisfaction. I 
mean, the general burst of execration with which " Essays 
and Reviews" have been received, from one end of the 
kingdom to the other. The censure of all the Bishops, 
and of both Houses of Convocation ; re-echoed, as it has 
been, through all ranks of the community, is a great 
fact ; a fact which I cordially recommend to Mr. 
Pattison's attention, when he would philosophize on 
the religious tendencies of his countrymen. 

The age we live in, (Heaven knows !) has many 
drawbacks. What age of the Church has not had 
them ? The fatal disposition which prevails to relax 
all the ancient safeguards, the desire to tamper yet 
further with the Law of Marriage, and to desecrate 
the Christian Sabbath, these are grievous features 
of the times; which may well occasion alarm and 
create perplexity. But nothing of the kind should 
ever make us despond ; much less despair. There is 
One above "who is over all, GOD blessed for ever." 
Shall we not rather seek to employ these advantages 
which we have, with a single heart, a single eye to 
GOD'S glory; and leave the issue, with a generous 
confidence, to Him ? .... It was thus that the great 
philosophic Divine of the last century comforted him- 
self, amid darker days than we shall ever experience. 


"As different ages have been distinguished by dif- 
ferent sorts of particular errors and vices, the deplor- 
able distinction of ours," (he said,) "is an avowed 
scorn of Eeligion in some, and a growing disregard to 
it in the generality." "It is impossible for me, my 
brethren," (Butler is still addressing the clergy of 
his Diocese, 1751,) "to forbear lamenting with you 
the general decay of Eeligion in this nation ; which is 
now observed by every one, and has been for some 
time the complaint of all serious persons. The influ- 
ence of it is more and more wearing out of the minds 
of men ;" while " the number of those who profess 
themselves unbelievers, increases, and with their 
number their zeal. Zeal, it is natural to ask, for 
what?. "Why truly for nothing, but against every- 
thing that is sacred and good among us g ." And yet, 
in days dark as those, Piety could suggest that "no 
Christian should possibly despair;" and Faith could 
assign as the reason of this blessed confidence, "For 
He who hath all poiver in Heaven and Earth, hath pro- 
mised that He will be with us to the end of the world." 

It is time to dismiss Mr. Pattison's Essay. In 
doing so, I will not waste my time and yours by carp- 
ing at the many errors of detail into which he has 
(not inexcusably) fallen. These are the accidents, 
not the essence of his paper. The root of bitterness 
with the Author is, clearly enough, the Theory of Re- 
ligious Belief in the Church of England. His conclud- 
ing words shew this plainly. The sting of the Essay 
is in the tail : 

" In the Catholic theory the feebleness of Eeason is 
met half-way, and made good by the authority of the 
Church. When the Protestants threw off this autho- 
s Primary Charge, at the end of his Sermons. 


rity, they did not assign to Eeason what they took 
from the Church, but to Scripture. Calvin did not 
shrink from saying that Scripture i shone sufficiently 
by its own light.' As long as this eould be kept to, 
the Protestant theory of belief was whole and sound. 
At least it was as sound as the Catholic. In both, 
Eeason, aided by spiritual illumination, performs the 
subordinate function of recognising the supreme au- 
thority of the Church, and of the Bible, respectively. 
Time, learned controversy, and abatement of zeal, 
drove the Protestants generally from the hardy but 
irrational assertion of Calvin. Every foot of ground 
that Scripture lost was gained by one or other of the 
three substitutes : Church-authority, the Spirit, or Eea- 
son. Church-authority was essayed by the Laudian 
divines, but was soon found untenable, for on that 
footing it was found impossible to justify the Eeforma- 
tion and the breach with Eome," [0 shame !] " The 
SPIRIT then came into favour along with Indepen- 
dency. But it was still more quickly discovered that 
on such a basis only discord and disunion eould be 
reared. There remained to be tried Common Eeason, 
carefully distinguished from recondite learning, and 
not based on metaphysical assumptions. To apply 
this instrument to the contents of Eevelation was the 
occupation of the early half of the eighteenth century ; 
with what success has been seen. In the latter part 
of the century the same Common Eeason was applied 
to the external evidences. But here the method fails 
in a first requisite, universality* for even the shal- 
lowest array of historical proof requires some book- 
learning to apprehend." (pp. 328-9.) 

Now all this is discreditable to Mr. Pattison as a 
Philosopher and as a Divine. When did Protestant 


England " throw off the authority" of the Church? 
What are Calvin's opinions to her ? How does < Inde- 
pendency,' ' Eationalism/ or any other unsound prin- 
ciple, affect us ? Look at our Prayer-Book. Is it not 
the same which it was from the beginning? The 
Sarum Use, reformed and revised, has been our un- 
broken heritage as Christian men, from the first. Es- 
sentially remodelled in the days of Edward VI., the 
recension of our "Laudian Divines" is, (by GOD'S 
great mercy !) still ours. What other teaching but 
that of the Book of Common Prayer , is, to this hour, 
the authoritative teaching of the Church of England ? 
Why insinuate there has been vicissitude of Theory, 
where notoriously there has been none ? Why imply 
that the storms which periodically sweep over the 
citadel of our Zion are effectual to remove the old 
foundations and to substitute new? What but a 
hollow heartless Scepticism can be the result of such 
an abominable passage as the foregoing ? 

"Whoever will take the religious literature of the 
present day as a whole, and endeavour to make out 
clearly on what basis Eevelation is supposed by it to 
rest, whether on Authority, on the Inward Light, on 
Eeason, on self-evidencing Scripture, or on the combi- 
nation of the four, or some of them, and in what pro- 
portions ; would probably find that he had undertaken 
a perplexing but not altogether profitless inquiry." 
(p. 329.) And so the Essay ends. 

With a short comment on the proposed problem, 
I also shall conclude. 

No one but a fool would set about the task which 
Mr. Pattison here proposes. The current " religious 
literature of the day" cannot be supposed, for an in- 
stant, to be an adequate exponent of the mind of the 
Church of England, or of any other Church. Eeve- 


lation rests, at this hour, on exactly the same basis on 
which it has always rested, and on which it will rest, 
to the end of time ; let the age be faithful, or faith- 
less, learned or unlearned, rationalizing or scien- 
tific, sceptical or superstitious, or whatever else 
you will. And if I am asked to explain myself, I 
would humbly say, (always submitting my own 
statements in such a matter to the judgment of the 
Bishops and Doctors of the Church of England,) 
that we receive the Bible on the authority of the 
Church. The Church teaches us by the concurrent 
voices of many Fathers, Doctors, Saints, how to in- 
terpret the Bible; and convinces us that the three 
Creeds which she delivers to us as her own indepen- 
dent tradition, may be proved thereby ; being in en- 
tire conformity with Holy Scripture, though not ori- 
ginally deduced from it. " Self- evidencing" is hardly 
a correct epithet to bestow upon Scripture. And 
yet, from the evidence which the New Testament sup- 
plies to the Old, and from the interpretation which 
it puts upon its teaching, we should not despair 
of proving the Truth of Eevelation, to one who had 
neither darkened the inward Light, nor perverted 
his Eeason. 

In truth, however, it is idle thus to speculate. We 
have been born into the world during the nineteenth 
Century, whether we wish it or not. "We have been 
nourished, (GoD be thanked !) in the bosom of the 
Christian Church, whether we would or no. The glory 
of the Gospel has informed our natural reason, and we 
cannot undo the blessed process, strive we as much as 
we will. The " inward Light," (as we call it,) is the 
lingering twilight of the Day of Creation, in the case 
of the heathen, the reflected ray of the noontide of 
the Gospel, even in the case of the modern unbeliever. 


We cannot escape from these conditions of our being, 
although we may affect to ignore them, or pretend to 
turn our eyes the other way. No help however is to 
be rejected. No faculty of the soul need be denied the 
privilege of assisting to convince the doubting heart. 
The inward Light may not be disparagingly spoken 
of: for what if it should prove to be a ray sent down 
from the Father of Lights, to illumine the dark places 
of the soul ? The aid of Eeason is not to be excluded ; 
for what is Faith but the highest dictate of the Eea- 
son? Faith, (let us ever remember,) being opposed 
not to Reason, but to Sight ! . . . And who for a mo- 
ment supposes that we disparage the office of Eeason, 
because we speak of the authority of the Church, in 
controversies of Faith ? We simply proclaim the 
Church to be the appointed witness and keeper of 
Holy Writ; and when we are invited "to make out 
clearly on what basis Eevelation is supposed to rest," 
(p. 329,) we point, where else should we point? 
unhesitatingly to her unwavering witness from the 

VII. The Essay which brings up the rear in this 
very guilty volume is from the pen of the "EEV. 
BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A., [Fellow and Tutor of Balliol 
College, and] Eegius Professor of Greek in the Uni- 
versity of Oxford," " a gentleman whose high per- 
sonal character and general respectability seem to 
give a weight to his words, which assuredly they do 
not carry of themselves 11 ." His performance is en- 
in reality, nothing else but a laborious denial of its 

h Rev. M. Pattison, in Essays and Reviews, p. 307. 


Mr. Jowett' s quarrel is with the whole body of 
Commentators on the Bible, ancient and modern; 
with the whole Church Catholic. He cannot endure 
the claim of that Book, (like its Divine object and 
Author,) to " a Name which is above every other 
Name." That Plato and Sophocles should be capable 
of but one method of Interpretation, and that the 
literal, while the Bible lays claim to a yet pro- 
founder meaning, so distresses the Eegius Professor 
of Greek, that he has appropriated to himself almost 
a quarter of the present volume, in order that he may 
cast laborious and systematic ridicule on the very 
supposition. Some parts of his method I propose pre- 
sently to submit to exactly the same "free handling " 
which he has himself applied to THE WORD OF GOD. In the 
meantime, since it is my intention not only to demon- 
strate the worthlessness of the structure which Mr. 
Jowett has with so much perverse industry here built 
up, by an examination of some parts of it in detail, 
but also to pull down as much of the fabric as I am 
able within a small compass, (the construction of 
something which it is hoped will prove more du- 
rable, being to be found in my Illrd and IVth, Yth 
and YIth Sermons,) I proceed at once to inspect the 
foundation-stone of his edifice ; and briefly to demon- 
strate its absolute insecurity. 

1. Mr. Jowett' s fundamental principle is expressed 
in the following brief precept : " Interpret the Scripture 
like any other book." (p. 377.) To this favourite tune, 
(although he plays many intricate variations on it,) 
he invariably reverts in the end *. On this preliminary 
postulate therefore, which, at first sight, to a candid 

1 pp. 338, 375, 420 top line, 428, &c. 


mind, seems fair enough, I proceed to remark as 
follows : 

Mr. Jowett's formula may be cheerfully and entirely 
accepted, apart from the sinister glosses which he im- 
mediately proceeds to put upon it. By all means " In- 
terpret the Scripture like any other book." Let us 
see to what result this principle will conduct us. As 
for the formula itself, I take the liberty to assume 
that it ought to mean somewhat as follows: " Ap- 
proach the volume of Holy Scripture with the same 
candour, and in the same unprejudiced spirit with 
which you would approach any other famous book of 
high antiquity. Study it with at least the same at- 
tention. Give at least equal heed to all its statements. 
Acquaint yourself at least as industriously with its 
method, and with its principle ; employing and apply- 
ing either, with at least equal fidelity, in its interpre- 
tation. Above all, beware of playing tricks with its 
plain language. Beware of suppressing any part of 
the evidence which it supplies as to its own meaning. 
Be truthful, and unprejudiced, and honest, and con- 
sistent, and logical, and exact throughout, in your 
work of Interpretation. ' INTERPRET SCRIPTURE LIKE 


Now, (not to be tedious,) if this were Mr. Jowett's 
principle, all further discussion would be at an end. 
The general question of the right method of inter- 
preting the Bible would be easily settled; but it 
would be hopelessly settled against the Regius Pro- 
fessor of Greek. As I have briefly shewn, (from 
p. 144 to p. 160 of the present volume,) our LORD 
and His Apostles openly and repeatedly claim for 
Scripture that very depth of meaning, that very ex- 
tent of signification, which Mr. Jowett so strenuously 


maintains that it does not possess. This great fact, 
he prudently takes no notice of. He simply ignores 
it. Either he has overlooked it, through inadver- 
tency : or he has omitted it, as not perceiving its 
force and bearing on the question : or he has dis- 
ingenuously kept it back. He must choose between 
these three suppositions. If he has overlooked the 
fact on which I lay so much stress, he is a careless 
and incompetent reader. If he has failed to see its 
force and bearing on the question, he is a weak and 
illogical thinker. If he has deliberately suppressed 
it, knowing its fatal power, he is simply a dishonest 
man. To prevent offence, I may as well state freely 
that my entire conviction is that he is simply a weak 
and illogical person. My warrant for this opinion is 
especially the very sad performance of his now under 

It is clear however that the paraphrase above 
hazarded does not express Mr. Jowett's principle. 
" Interpret the Bible like any other book," means 
with him something else. And what it does mean, 
the Eeverend author does not suffer us to doubt. 
He shews that his meaning is, Interpret the Bible 
like any other book, FOR it is like any other book. I 
proceed to shew that this is Mr. Jowett's meaning. 

It becomes necessary however at once to introduce 
to the reader's notice the main inference which, (as 
already hinted,) flows from Mr. Jowett's favourite 
position. "Interpret Scripture like any other book," 
he says. His business is with the Interpretation 
of "the Jewish and Christian Scriptures;" and he 
begins by eagerly assuring us, and is strenuous in 
all that follows to make us believe, (but simply on 
a priori grounds!) that "the true glory and note 


of Divinity in these, is not that they have hidden, 
mysterious, or double meanings \ but a simple and 
universal one, which is beyond them and will survive 
them." (p. 332.) " Is it admitted," (he asks, at the 
end of many pages,) " that the Scripture has one and 
only one true meaning ?" (p. 368.) 

Let us hear what reasons the Eeverend author of 
this seventh Essay is able to produce in support of his 
favourite opinion. He approaches the subject from 
a respectful distance : 

(i) " It is a strange, though familiar fact," (such 
are the opening words of his Essay,) "that great 
differences of opinion exist respecting the Interpre- 
tation of Scripture." (p. 330.) < Familiar,' the fact 
is, certainly ; but why ' strange ?' A Book of many 
ages, of immense antiquity, of most varied cha- 
racter, treating of the unseen world, purporting 
to be a mysterious composition, and by all Christian 
men believed to have GOD for its true Author : a book 
which has come into collision with every form of 
human error, and has triumphed gloriously over every 
form of human opposition : how can it be thought 
' strange' that the interpretation of such a book should 
have provoked " great differences of opinion ?" . . . 
Surely none but the weakest of thinkers, unless 
committed to the assumption that the Bible is like 
any other look, could ever have penned such a silly 

(ii) "We do not at once see the absurdity of the 
same words having many senses, or free our minds 
from the illusion that the Apostle or Evangelist must 
have written with a reference to the creeds or con- 
troversies or circumstances of other times. Let it be 
considered, then, that this extreme variety of inter- 


pretation is found to exist in the case of no other look, 
but of the Scriptures only" (p. 334.) 

But the " phenomenon" which Mr. Jowett repre- 
sents as " so extraordinary that it requires an effort 
of thought to appreciate it," (Ibid.,) does not seem 
at all extraordinary to any one who does not begin by 
assuming that the Bible is " like any other book." 
If the Bible be inspired, then all is plain ! 

(iii) " Who would write a bulky treatise about the 
method to be pursued in interpreting Plato or Sopho- 
cles?" asks Mr. Jowett. (p. 378.) No one but 
a fool ! is the obvious reply. Plato and Sophocles 
are ordinary books ; and therefore are to be interpreted 
like any other book. The Bible not so, as we shall 
see by and by. Again, 

(iv) " Each writer, each successive age, has charac- 
teristics of its own, as strongly marked, or more 
strongly, than those which are found in the authors 
or periods of classical Literature. These differences 
are not to be lost in the idea of a Spirit from whom they 
proceed, or by which they were overruled. And therefore, 
illustration of one part of Scripture by another should 
be confined to writings of the same age and the same 
authors, except where the writings of different ages or 
persons offer obvious similarities. It may be said, 
further, that illustration should be chiefly derived, 
not only from the same author, but from the same 
writing, or from one of the same period of his life. For 
example, the comparison of St. John and the * synoptic' 
Gospels, or of the Gospel of St. John with the Eeve- 
lation of St. John, will tend rather to confuse than to 
elucidate the meaning of either" (pp. 382-3.) But 
really, in reply, it ought to suffice to point out that 
the result of the Church's experience for 1800 years 


has been the very opposite of the Professor's. " The 
idea of a SPIRIT from whom they proceeded," is, to the 
thoughtful part of mankind, the only intelligible clue to 
the several books of Holy Scripture, from Genesis to 
Revelation ! Hence " the marginal references to the 
English Bible," (to which Mr. Jowett devotes a depre- 
ciatory half page,) so far from being the dangerous or 
useless apparatus which he represents, we hold to be 
an instrument of paramount importance for eliciting 
the true meaning of Holy Writ. In a word, he is 
reasoning about the Bible on the assumption that the 
Bible is like any other book. 

(v) "To attribute to St. Paul or the Twelve the 
abstract notion of Christian Truth which afterwards 
sprang up in the Catholic Church ... is the same 
error as to attribute to Homer the ideas of Thales or 
Heraclitus, or to Thales the more developed principles 
of Aristotle and Plato." (p. 354JNot if St. Paul and 
the Twelve were inspired. 

(vi) He bids us remark, with tedious emphasis, that 
although the same philological and historical diffi- 
culties which occur in Holy Scripture are found in 
profane writings, yet "the meaning of classical au- 
thors is known with comparative certainty; and the 
interpretation of them seems to rest on a scientific 
basis. . . . Even the Vedas and the Zendavesta, though 
beset by obscurities of language probably greater than 
are found in any portion of the Bible, are interpreted, 
at least by European scholars, according to fixed rules, 
and beginning to be clearly understood." (p. 335.) 

But at the end of several weak sentences, through 
which the preceding fallacy is elongated into distress- 
ing tenuity, who does not exclaim, The supposed 
" scientific" basis on which the interpretation of books 



in general rests, is simply this ; (a) that being merely 
human , and (/3) not professing to have any other than 
their obvious literal meaning, they are all inter- 
preted in the obvious ordinary way ! 

For (), If any book were even suspected to be 
Divine, the manner of interpreting it would of course 
be different. Not that the "basis' 7 of such Interpre- 
tation would therefore cease to be " scientific !" Take 
the only known instance of such a Book. The Bible 
has been suspected (!) for 1800 years to be inspired. 
How has it fared with the Bible ? 

The Science of Biblical Interpretation is one of the 
noblest and best understood in the world. It has 
been professed and practised in every country of 
Christendom. The great Masters of this Science have 
been such men as Hilary of Poictiers, Basil and the 
two Gregories in Asia Minor, Epiphanius in Cyprus, 
Ambrose at Milan, John Chrysostom at Antioch, 
Jerome in Palestine, Augustine in Africa, Athanasius 
and Cyril at Alexandria. The names descend in an 
unbroken stream from the first four centuries of our 
sera down to the age of Andrewes, and Bull, and 
Pearson, and Mill. These men all interpret Scripture 
in one and the same way. Their principles are the 
same throughout. They were all Professors of the 
same Sacred Science. 

But (/3), If a book even professes to have a hidden 
meaning, it is interpreted by a special set of canons. 
Thus Dante's great poem * may not be read as Hume's 
History of England is read. To proceed, however. 

1 See all this very ably and interestingly explained in an article 
reprinted from the 'Christian Remembrancer' (Jan. 1861,) On 
certain Characteristics of Holy Scripture, by the Rev. J. Gr. Ca- 
zenove, p. 11, &c. 


(vii) Sophocles is perhaps the most subtle of the 
ancient Greek poets. " Several schools of critics have 
commented on his works. To the Englishman he has 
presented one meaning, to the Frenchman another, to 
the German a third ; the interpretations have also dif- 
fered with the philosophical systems which the inter- 
preters espoused. To one the same words have ap- 
peared to bear a moral, to another a symbolical mean- 
ing; a third is determined wholly by the authority 
of old commentators; while there is a disposition to 
condemn the scholar who seeks to interpret Sophocles 
from himself only and with reference to the ideas and 
beliefs of the age in which he lived. And the error 
of such an one is attributed not only to some intel- 
lectual but even to a moral obliquity (!) which pre- 
vents his seeing the true meaning."- (p. 336.) 

It has fared with Sophocles therefore, (according to 
Mr. Jowett,) in all respects as it has fared with the 
Bible. " It would be tedious," (he justly remarks,) 
"to follow the absurdity which has been supposed 
into details. By such methods," Sophocles or Plato 
might " be made to mean anything." (p. 336.) 

But who does not perceive that the obvious way to 
escape from the supposed difficulty, is to remember 
that neither Sophocles nor Plato was inspired / . . . . 
Mr. Jowett's difficulty is occasioned by his assump- 
tion that the Bible stands on the same level as Plato 
and Sophocles. 

(viii) Again, "If it is not held to be a thing im- 
possible that there should be agreement in the mean- 
ing of Plato and Sophocles, neither is it to be regarded 
as absurd, that there should be a like agreement in 
the interpretation of Scripture." (p. 426.) The whole 
force of this argument clearly consisting in the strictly 



equal claims of these books to Inspiration. Else- 
where, Mr. Jowett expresses the same thing more 
unequivocally : The old " explanations of Scripture," 
(he says,) "are no longer tenable. They belong to 
a way of thinking and speaking which was once dif- 
fused over, the world, but has now passed away." 
Having quietly assumed all this, the Eeverend writer 
proceeds : " And what we give up as a general 
principle, we shall find it impossible to maintain 
partially ; e.g. in the types of the Mosaic Law, and 
the double meanings of Prophecy, at least in any sense 
in which it is not equally applicable to all deep and sug- 
gestive writings." (p. 419.) 

(ix) " Still one other supposition has to be intro- 
duced, which will appear, perhaps, more extravagant 
than any which have preceded. Conceive then that 
these modes of interpreting Sophocles (!) had existed 
for ages; that great institutions and interests had 
become interwoven with them; and in some degree 
even the honour of Nations and Churches ; is it too 
much to say that, in such a case, they would be 
changed with difficulty, and that they would continue 
to be maintained long after critics and philosophers 
had seen that they were indefensible ?" (pp. 336-7.) 

I suppose we may at once allow Mr. Jowett most 
of what he asks. We may freely grant that if the 
Tragedies of Sophocles had exercised the same won- 
drous dominion over the world which the Books of 
the Bible have exercised : if (Edipus and Jocasta 
and Creon ; if Theseus and Dejanira and Hercules ; 
if Ajax, Ulysses and Minerva ; had done for the 
world what Enoch and Noah ; what Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob ; what Joseph, and Joshua, and Hannah, 
and Samuel, and David ; what Elijah and Elisha ; 


what Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, and 
the rest ; what St. Peter, and St. John, and St. Paul ; 

what the Blessed Virgin and her name-sakes, have 
done: In a word: had Homer's gods and heroes 
altogether changed the face of society, and revolu- 
tionized the world j so that "great institutions and inte- 
rests had become interwoven with them, and in some de- 
gree even the honour of Nations and Churches ;" (p. 336 ;) 

if, I repeat, all this had really and actually taken 
place ; great " difficulty" would, no doubt, (as Mr. 
Jowett profoundly suggests,) be experienced, at the 
end of 2000 years, in getting rid of them. 

But since it unfortunately happens that they have 
done nothing of the kind, we do not seem to be called 
upon to follow the Eegius Professor of Greek into the 
supposed consequences of what he admits to be an 
" extravagant supposition ;" and which we humbly 
think is an excessively foolish one also. 

When, however, the Eeverend Author of this specu- 
lation establishes it as a parallel with what has taken 
place with regard to the Word of GOD, we tell him 
plainly that his insinuation that " critics and philoso- 
phers are maintaining the present mode of interpreting 
Scripture long after they have seen that it is indefen- 
sible" is a piece of impertinence which seems to re- 
quire a public apology. A man may retain Orders in 
the Church of England, if he pleases, while yet he 
repudiates her doctrines : may declare that he sub- 
scribes her Articles ex animo, and yet seem openly to 
deny them. But he has no right whatever to impute 
corresponding baseness to others. The charge should 
be either plainly made out, or openly retracted 1 . 

is this a mere slip of Mr. Jowett's pen. At p. 372, he 
states that " a majority of the Clergy throughout the world,"- 


By such considerations then ..does Professor Jowett 
attempt to shew that we ought to " interpret Scrip- 
ture like any other book." The gist of his observa- 
tions, in every case, is one and the same, namely, 
from a priori considerations to insinuate that the Bible 
is not essentially unlike any other look. 
. Now, quite apart from its Inspiration, which is, 
obviously, THE one essential respect wherein the Bible 
is wholly unlike every other book in the world ; (in- 
asmuch as, if it is inspired, it differs from every other 
book in kind ; stands among Books as the Incarnate 
WORD stood among Men, quite alone / notwithstand- 
ing that He spoke their language, shared their wants, 
and accommodated Himself to their manners ;) apart, 
I say, from the fact of its Inspiration, it is not difficult 
to point out several particulars in which the Bible is 
utterly unlike any other Book which is known to exist ; 
and therefore to suggest an a priori reason why neither 
should it he interpreted like any other book. 

1. The Bible then contains in all (66-9-=) 57 
distinct writings, the work of perhaps upwards of 
forty different Authors 01 . Yet, for upwards of fifteen 
centuries those many writings have been all collected 

(with whom he associates the "instincts of many laymen, perhaps also 
individual interest/') are in favour of " withholding the Truth" 
But, he adds, (with the indignant emphasis of Virtue when she is re- 
proaching Vice,)- " a higher expediency pleads that ' honesty is the 
best policy/ and that truth alone ' makes free !' " How would such 
insolence he treated in the common intercourse of daily life ? (I 
will not pause to remark on Mr. Jowett' s wanton abuse of the Divine 
saying recorded in St. John viii. 32, repeated at p. 351.) 

m I suppose that there may have been many inspired Psalmists ; 
and that perhaps the book of Judges was not all by one hand. With 
reference to the two books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, see 
1 Chron. xxix. 29, 30. 2 Chron. ix. 29 : xi. 2 : xii. 15, 5, 7 : 
xiii. 22. 


into one volume : and, for a large portion of that 
interval, on the writings so collected the Church 
Universal has agreed in bestowing the name of the 

Book) KOLT e^oyrjv, THE BlBLE. 

2. The Bible is divided into two parts, which are 
severed by an interval of upwards of four centuries. 
On these two great divisions of the Bible, respectively, 
has been bestowed the title of the Old and the New 
Covenant. And, what is remarkable, The same phe- 
nomena which are observable in respect of the whole Bible, 
are observable in respect of either of its parts. Thus, 

(a) The several writings of which the Old Testa, 
ment is composed, (39 3=) 36 in all n , are by 
many different hands : those of the New Testament, 
in like manner, (27 6=) 21 in all, are by eight 
different authors. 

(13) Those many writings of the Old Testament are 
found to have been collected into a single volume 
about four hundred years before the Christian sera; 
when they were denominated by a common name, 
rj ypa(f)rj, " The Scripture* ;" and the supreme autho- 
rity of the writings so collected together, was axiom- 
atic 1 *. One arguing with His Hebrew countrymen 
was able to appeal to a place in the Psalms, and to 
remind them parenthetically that " the Scripture can- 
not be broken*" that is, might not be gainsaid, 

n By the Jews themselves they were reckoned as 22. 

" It is remarkable that the word Tpa^, which means simply 
Writing, is reserved and appropriated in the ^N"ew Testament (where 
it occurs fifty times) to the Sacred writings, i.e. to the Holy Scrip- 
tures ; and marks the separation of the Scriptures from all " com- 
mon books," indeed from all oilier writings in the world." Words- 
worth c On Inspiration,' p. 85. 

p St. Lukexvi. 17. 

q ov dvvarai \v6ijvai 17 ypatfrfj, St. John X. 35. 


doubted, explained away, or set aside. Precisely 
similar phenomena are observable in respect of the 
writings of the New Testament. 

(7) Although the books of the Old Covenant are 
scattered at intervals over the long period of upwards 
of a thousand years, the writers of the later books are 
observed to quote the earlier ones, as if by a peculiar 
secret sympathy : now, incorporating long passages, 
now, simply adapting one or two sentences, now, 
blending allusive references. Tor some proof of this 
assertion, (as far as I am able to produce it at a 
moment's notice,) the reader is referred to the foot 
of the page r . 

The self-same phenomenon is observable with regard 
to the New Testament Scriptures. Although all the 
books were written within so short a space as about 
fifty years, the later writers quote the earlier ones 
to a surprising extent. In the Gospels, the Gospels 

r e.g. (i) Long passages : 

Judges i. 11 15 quotes Joshua xv. 15 19. 2 Sam. xxii. quotes 
Ps. xviii. 1 Chron. xvi. quotes Ps. xcvi., and Ps. cv. 2 Kings xix. 
quotes Is. xxxvii. 2 Kings xx. quotes Is. xxxviii., xxxix. 

(ii) One or two sentences : 

Numb. xiv. 18 quotes Exod. xxxvi. 6, 7. Ps. Ixviii. 1 quotes 
Numb. x. 35. Ps. Ixviii. 7, 8 quotes Judges v. 4, 5. Ps. cxviii. 
14 quotes Exod. xv. 2. Prov. xxx. 5 quotes Ps. xviii. 30. Joelii. 
13 quotes Jonah iv. 2. Isaiah xii. 2 quotes Exod. xv. 2. Isaiah 
xiii. 6 quotes Joel i. 15. Isaiah li. 6 quotes Ps. cii. 25-7. Isaiah 
lii. 10 quotes Ps. xcviii. 2, 3. Micah iv. 1, 2, 3 quotes Isaiah ii. 
2, 3, 4. Nahum i. 15 quotes Isaiah lii. 7. Zeph. iii. 19 quotes 
Micah iv. 6. Habakkuk ii. 14 quotes Isaiah xi. 9. Jeremiah x. 
13 : li. 16 quotes Ps. cxxxv. 7. Jeremiah xlviii. quotes Isaiah xv. 
16. Jeremiah xxvi. 18 quotes Micah iii. 12. 1 Chron. xxix. 15 
quotes Ps. xxxix. 12. 

(iii) Allusive references. (This would involve a prolonged 
reference to the Hebrew Scriptures, which would be even out of 
place here.) 


are quoted times without number. In the Epistles, 
the Gospels are cited, or referred to, upwards of sixty 
times. The Epistles contain many references to the 
Epistles. The phenomenon thus alluded to will also 
be found insisted upon in a later part of the present 
volume 8 . 

" The fact, I believe, on close examination, will be 
found to stand thus : The Holy Bible abounds in 
quotations, even more perhaps than most other books ; 
but they are introduced in a way which is peculiar 
to Eevelation, and its own. When a Prophet or Apo- 
stle mentions one of his own holy brethren, as when 
Ezekiel names Daniel, or Daniel Jeremiah ; when St. 
Peter speaks of St. Paul, or St. Paul of St. Peter, or 
of St. Luke the Physician ; when they mention them^ 
they do not quote them ; and when they quote them, they 
do not mention them*." 

(S) The later writer in the Old Testament who quotes 
some earlier portion of narrative is often observed 
to supply independent information, entering into 
minute details and particulars which are not to be 
found in the earlier record. Now, "with the same 
Almighty SPIRIT for their guide, what was it to be 
expected that the historians of our Blessed LORD 
would do ? What, but the very thing which they 
have done ? that they would walk in the path, which 
the holy Prophets of old had marked out ? that they 
would often tread full in each other's steps ; often 
relate the same miracle, or discourse, or parts of it, in 
the words of the same prior writer ; sometimes com- 

8 See pp. 234-5. 

* Rev. Ralph Churton's Sermon " On the Quotations in the Old 
Testament," (1807,) published in Townson's Works, vol. i. p. 
cxxxiv., where see the interesting note. 


press, sometimes expand ; always shew to the diligent 
inquirer, that they did not derive their information, 
even of facts which they relate in another's words, 
from him whom they copy, but wrote with antecedent 
plenitude of knowledge and truth in themselves ; 
without staying to inform us whether what they de- 
liver is told for the first time, or has its place already 
in authentic history 11 ." 

(e) It may be worth remarking that though the 
Inspiration of no part of either Testament has ever 
been doubted in the Church, there do exist doubts 
as to the Authorship of more than one of the Books 
of the Old Testament; and one Book in the New, 
(the Epistle to the Hebrews,) has been suspected by 
some orthodox writers not to have been from the pen 
of St. Paul, but to have been the work of some other 
inspired and Apostolic writer. 

(f) History, Didactic matter, and Prophecy, is 
found to be the subject of either Testament. 

(77) In the New Testament, as in the Old, we are 
presented with the singular phenomenon of more than 
one Book being in a manner copied from another, 
yet with the addition of much independent original 
matter. It is superfluous to name Samuel, Kings, and 
Chronicles, on one side, and the Gospels on the other. 
To the Gospels may be added the Second Epistle of 
St. Peter and the Epistle of St. Jude. 

(6) Lastly, the same modest use of the Supernatural 
is to be found in either Testament. In both, the 
writers are observed to pass without effort, and as it 
were unconsciously, from revelations of the most stu- 
pendous character, to statements of the simplest and 

u Eev. Ealph Churton's Sermon, quoted in note (t), pp. cxliv-v. 


most ordinary kind x . In both, there is the same 
prominence given to individual characters y ; the same 
occasional minuteness of detail where it might have 
been least expected z . 

3. But by far the most remarkable phenomenon re- 
mains to be noticed; namely, the immense number 
of quotations, (so far more numerous than is commonly 
suspected,) extending in length from a single word 
to nearly a hundred and fifty a , together with allu- 
sive references, literally without number, which are 
found in the New Testament Scriptures ; the writings 
of the elder Covenant being in every instance, exclu- 
sively *, the source of those quotations, the object of 
those allusions. 

4. When the nature of these quotations, references, 
and allusions is examined with care, several extra- 
ordinary phenomena present themselves, which it 
seems impossible to consider without the deepest in- 
terest, surprise, and admiration. Thus, (i.) The 
New Testament writers, on repeated occasions, dis- 
play independent knowledge of the Old Testament His- 
tory to which they make reference . The following 
instances occur to my memory : All the later links 

x E.g. Gen. xxviii. 11, 12: xxxii. 1 3. Exod. xxiv. 10. 
St. Luke xxii. 4345. St. Matth. xxvii. 52, 53. St. Jude ver. 9. 

y E. g. Jacob, Joseph, David. St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John. 

z E. g. Gen. viii. 9 : xxxvii. 15 17 : xlviii. 17, 18. Exod. ii. 6. 
St. Luke viii. 55. St. John xiii. 4, 5 : xxi. 

* E. g. in Heb. viii. 8 12, where Jer. xxxi. 31 36 is quoted. 
See Acts ii. 17 21, where Joel ii. 28 32 is quoted. 

b It is supposed that the three well-known references to profane 
writers, (Acts xvii. 28. 1 Cor. xv. 33. Tit. i. 12, [concerning 
which see Jerome, Qpp. i. 424: vii. 471,]) the place in St. Mat- 
thew, (xxvii. 9,) and St. James iv. 5, are scarcely exceptions to 
the statement in the text. 

See above, (8). 


in our LORD'S Genealogy d ; the second Cainan e : Sal- 
mon's marriage with Eahab f : the burial-place of the 
twelve Patriarchs g : the age of Moses in Exod. ii. 11 h : 
that in the days of Elijah the heaven was shut up for 
three years and six months 1 : that it was the Devil 
who tempted Eve k : the contest for the dead body of 
Moses * : the names of Pharaoh's magicians m : how 
Abraham reasoned with himself when he prepared to 
offer up his son Isaac n : the golden censer, mentioned 
in Het. ix. 4 : Abraham's purchase of Sychem ; 
and a few other things p . 

(ii.) The same New Testament writers are observed 
to handle the Old Testament Scriptures with an air 
of singular authority, and to exercise an extraordinary 
license of quotation; inverting clauses, paraphras- 
ing statements, abridging or expanding; and al- 
ways without apology or explanation ; as if they were 
conscious that they were dealing with their own. 

(iii.) Most astonishing of all, obviously, as well as 
most important, is the purpose for which the Evan- 
gelists and Apostles of our LORD make their appeal 
to the Old Testament Scriptures ; invariably in order to 
establish some part of the Christian Revelation. " Every 
thoughtful student of the Holy Scriptures has been 
struck with the circumstance which I now allude to : 

d Only given by St. Matthew and St. Luke. e Only found 

in St. Luke iii. 36. f Only found in St. Matth. i. 5. s Only 
found in Acts vii. 16. h Only found in Acts vii. 23. 

* St. James v. 17, mentioned also by our LORD, St. Luke iv. 25 ; 
who informs us that Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites. This is 
only revealed in St. Luke xi. 30. 

k 2 Cor. xi. 3. ' St. Jude ver. 9. m 2 Tim. iii. 8. 

n See Heb. xi. 19. Consider Rom. iv. 19. Acts vii. 16. 

P Compare Exod. ii. 2, 3 with Acts vii. 20. Consider Rev. ii. 14 : 
also Heb. xii. 21: also Heb. ix. 19, &c. 


the freedom, namely, with which the inspired "Writers 
of the New Testament appeal back to the Old ; and 
see in it, as its one proper theme, the Christian sub- 
ject. They find themselves in that place, at length, 
to which former intimations had pointed, and recog- 
nize the connexion which they themselves have with 
their ancient forerunners' 1 ." .". . . It is as if for four 
hundred years and upwards, a mighty mystery, de- 
scribed in many a dark place of Prophecy, exhibited 
by many a perplexing type, foreshadowed by many 
a Divine narrative, had waited for solution. The 
world is big with expectation. The long-expected 
time at last arrives. Up springs the Sun of Eighte- 
ousness in the Heavens ; and lo, the cryptic characters 
of the Law flash at once into glory, and the dark 
Oracles of ancient days yield up their wondrous 
meanings ! " GOD, who at sundry times and in divers 
manners spake in time past unto the Fathers by the 
Prophets," in these last days speaks "unto us by 
His SON :" and lo, a chorus of Apostolic voices is 
heard bearing witness to the Advent of " the Desire 
of all nations !".... Such is the relation which the 
New Testament bears to the Old : such the true na- 
ture of the many quotations from the earlier Scrip- 
tures, which are found in the later half of the One 
inspired Volume. 

5. And thus we are led naturally to notice the 
extraordinary connexion which subsists between the 
two Testaments. " For what is the Law," (asks 
Justin, A.D. 140,) "but the Gospel foretold? or what 
is the Gospel, but the Law fulfilled r ?" " The contents 

i Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, p. 185. 

* Tt yap eorti/ 6 No/xos; Evayye\iov TrpoK.arr]yyf\^fvov" rl 5e TO 
Evayye\tov ; No/ios 7re7rX/pa)/iej/os. Justin : QutfSt. ci. p. 456. 


of the Old and New Testament are the same," re- 
marks Augustine : " there foreshadowed, here revealed : 
there prefigured, here made plain." "In the Old 
Testament there is a concealing of the New : in the 
New Testament there is a revealing of the Old 8 ." 
Mr. Jowett's inquiry, " If we assume the New Tes- 
tament as a tradition running parallel with the Old, may 
not the Eoman Catholic assume with equal reason a 
tradition parallel with the New?" (p. 381.) shews 
a truly childish misapprehension of the entire question. 
The New Testament is not a "parallel tradition" at 
all ; but a subsequent Eevelation from Heaven. 

6. Now I might pursue these remarks much fur- 
ther: for it would be well worth while to exhibit 
what an extraordinary sameness of imagery, similarity 
of allusion, and unity of purpose, runs through the 
writings of either Covenant ;- phenomena which can 
only be accounted for in one way. This subject will 
be found dwelt upon elsewhere; and to what has 
been already delivered, I must be content here to 
refer the reader *. 

(Mr. Jowett himself has been struck by the pheno- 
menon thus alluded to : but after hinting at " some 
natural association" as having suggested the language 
of the Prophets, he proceeds: "We are not there- 
fore justified in supposing any hidden connexion in 
the prophecies where [the prophetic symbols] occur. 
Neither is there any other ground for assuming design of 

a Eadem sunt in Yetere et Kovo : ibi obumbrata, hie revelata ; 
ibi praefigurata, hie manifesta. (Augustine: Quasi, xxxiii., in 
Num. 1. m. iii. p. 541.) In Yeteri Testamento est occultatio 
JSovi: in ISTovo Testamento est manifestatio Yeteris. (Id. De 
Catechiz. Rudibus, 8. See also Quaest. Ixxiii. in Exod.) 

' See below, from the foot of p. 174 to the beginning of p. 176. 


any other kind in Scripture ; any more than in Plato or 
Homer" (p. 381.) .... And thus our philosopher, as- 
suming at the outset that the Bible is an uninspired 
book, is for ever coming back to the lie with which 
he set out. But to proceed.) 

7. Still better worthy of notice, in this connexion, 
is the singular fact (which will also be found ad- 
verted to in another place u ,) that the Old and New 
Testaments alike profess to be a History of Earthly 
events from a Heavenly point of view. The writers 
of either Covenant claim to know what GOD did*; how 
characters and events appeared in His sight j : they 
profess to find themselves in a familiar, and altogether 
extraordinary relation with the unseen world z . Thus, 
Moses begins the Bible with an august account of the 
great Six Days, when GOD was alone in Creation; 
the unwitnessed Agent, and Author of all things: 
while St. John the Divine, concluding the inspired 
Canon, relates that he was "in the Spirit on the 
LORD'S Day;" and heard behind him "a great Yoice, 
as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the 
first and the last a ." ... . The general design of Scrip- 
ture," (says Bishop Butler,) " may be said to be, to 
give us an account of the World, in this one single 
view, as GOD'S World : by which it appears essentially 
distinguished from all other books, as far as I have found, 
except such as are copied from it*" 

8. And yet the grand external characteristic feature 
of the Bible remains unnoticed ! The one distinctive 
feature of the Bible, is this, that the four-fold Gospel, 

u Below, p. 108. The reader is requested to refer to the place. 

* E.g. Gen. xi. 5 8: xviii. 17 21. 7 E.g. Gen. vi. 6. 
2 Sam. xi. 27. z E.g. 2 Kings xix. 35. St. Matth. xxviii. 2, 3. 

Kev. i. 10, 11. b Analogy, P. u. ch. vii. 


as a matter of fact, exhibits to us, the WORD "made 
flesh :" and, (0 marvel of marvels !) suffers us to hear 
His voice, and look upon His form, and observe His 
actions. It does more. The New Testament professes 
to be, and is, the complement of the Old. The pro- 
mise of CHRIST, solemnly, and repeatedly, "at sun- 
dry times and divers manners," given in the one, 
is fulfilled in the other. Henceforth they are no more 
twain, for they have been by GOD Himself joined 
together; and the subject of both is none other than 

Enough surely has been already adduced to war- 
rant a reasonable man in refusing to accept Professor 
Jowett's repeated asseveration that the Bible is "to 
be interpreted like any other book." A Book which 
proves on examination to be so wholly unlike every other 
book, so entirely sui generis , may surely well create 
an a priori suspicion that it is not to be interpreted 
either, after any ordinary fashion. But the grand 
consideration of all is still behind ! The one circum- 
stance which effectually refutes the view of the Eeve- 
rend Professor, remains yet to be specified ; namely, 
HOLY SPIRIT. The HOLY GHOST is again and again 
declared to speak therein, &a, " by the instrumentality" 
" by the mouth" of Man. In other words, GOD, not 
Man, professes to be the Author of the Bible ! 

That the Bible does set up for itself such a claim, 
will be found established at p. 53 to p. 57 of the pre- 
sent volume. Professor Jowett's assurance that " for 
any of the higher or supernatural views of Inspira- 
tion, there is no foundation in the Gospels or Epistles" 
(p. 345,) must therefore be regarded as an extra- 
ordinary, or rather as an unpardonable oversight on 


his part. One would have thought that a single 
saying, like that in Acts iii. 18 and 2L, would have 
occurred to his memory, and been sufficient to refute 
him. Other places will be found quoted at p. cxcvii. 

Very much is it to be feared however that the same 
gentleman has overlooked a consideration of at least 
equal importance; namely, the inevitable inference 
from the discovery that the origin of the Bible is 
Divine. He informs us that, " It will be a further 
assistance (!) in the consideration of this subject, to 
observe that the Interpretation of Scripture has no- 
thing to do with any opinion respecting its origin" (p. 
350.) "The meaning of Scripture," (he proceeds,) 
" is one thing : the Inspiration of Scripture is an- 
other." True. But when we find the Eeverend Au- 
thor insisting, again and again, that " it may be laid 
down that Scripture has one meaning, the meaning 
which it had to the mind of the Prophet or Evan- 
gelist who first uttered, or wrote it" (p. 378,) we 
are constrained to remind him that, "To say that 
the Scriptures, and the things contained in them, can 
have no other or farther meaning than those persons 
thought or had, who first recited or wrote them; is 
evidently saying, that those persons were the original, 
proper, and sole authors of those books, i. e. THAT THEY 
ARE NOT INSPIRED c ." So that, in point of fact, the 
origin of Holy Scripture, so far from being a con- 
sideration of no importance, (as Mr. Jowett supposes,) 
proves to be a consideration of the most vital import- 
ance of all. And the Interpretation of Scripture, so far 
from having "nothing to do with any opinion respect- 
ing its origin," is affected by it most materially, or 
rather depends upon it altogether ! 

c Butler's Analogy, P. n. ch, vii. 


On a review of all that goes before, it will, I think, 
appear plain to any person of sound ^understanding, 
that Professor Jowett's a priori views respecting the 
Interpretation of Holy Scripture will not stand the 
test of exact reason. To suggest as he has done that 
the Bible is to be interpreted like any other book, on 
the plea that it is like any other book, is to build upon 
a false foundation. His syllogism is the following : 
If the Bible is a book like any other book, the Bible 

is to be interpreted like any other book. 
The Bible is a book like any other book. 

But it has been shewn that the learned Professor's 
minor premiss is false. It has been proved that the 
Bible is NOT a book like any other book. 

Nay, I claim to have done more. I claim to have 
established the contradictory minor premiss. The syl- 
logism therefore will henceforth stand as follows : 
If the Bible can be shewn to be a book like no 
other book, but entirely sui generis, and claiming 
to be the work of Inspiration, then is it rea- 
sonable to expect that it will have to be inter- 
preted like no other book, but entirely after a 
fashion of its own. 

But the Bible can be shewn to be a book like no 
other book ; entirely sui generis ; and claiming to 
be the work of Inspiration. 

2. It remains however, now, to advance an impor- 
tant step. Mr. Jowett, in a certain place, adopts a 
principle, the soundness of which I am able, happily, 
entirely to admit. " Interpret Scripture from itself, 
like any other book about which we know almost no- 
thing except what is derived from its pages." (p. 382.) 


" Non nisi ex Scripturd Scripturam interpretari potes" 
(p. 384.) 

Scarcely lias lie made this important admission 
however, and enunciated his golden Canon of inter- 
pretation, when he hastens to nullify it. His very 
next words are, " The meaning of the Canon is only 
this, 'That we cannot understand Scripture with- 
out becoming familiar (!) with it.' " 

But, (begging the learned writer's pardon,) so far 
from that being the whole of the meaning of the 
Canon, his gloss happens exactly to miss the only im- 
portant point. The plain meaning of the words, 
" Only out of the Scriptures can you explain the 
Scriptures," is obviously rather this : ' That in 
order to interpret the Bible, our aim must be to as- 
certain how the Bible interprets itself? In other words, 
' Scripture must be made its own Interpreter? More 
simply yet, in the Professor's own words, (from which, 
more suo, he has imperceptibly glided away,) " In- 
terpret Scripture from itself." (p. 382.) . . . . How then 
does Scripture interpret Scripture ? That is the only 
question ! for the answer to this question must be 
held to be decisive as to the other great question 
which Mr. Jowett raises in the present Essay, 
namely, How are we to interpret Scripture ? 

Now this whole Inquiry has been conducted else- 
where ; and will be found to extend from p. 144 to 
p. 160 of the present volume. It has been there es- 
tablished, by a sufficiently large induction of exam- 
ples, that the Bible is to be interpreted as no other look 
is, or can be interpreted] and for the plain reason, that 
the inspired Writers themselves, (our LORD Himself at 
their head !) interpret it after an altogether extraordinary 
fashion. Mr. Jowett's statement at p. 339 that "the 



mystical interpretation of Scripture originated in the 
Alexandrian age," is simply false. 

And in the course of this proof, (necessarily involved 
in it, in fact,) it has been incidentally shewn that the 
sense of Scripture is not, by any means, invariably 
one ; and that sense the most obvious to those who 
wrote, heard, or read it. It has been fully shewn 
that the office of the Interpreter is not, by any means, 
(as Mr. Jowett imagines,) " to recover the meaning of 
the words as they first struck on the ears, or flashed be- 
fore the eyes of those who heard or read them!' (p. 338.) 
The Eeverend writer's repeated assertion that " we 
have no reason to attribute to the Prophet or Evange- 
list any second or hidden sense different from that 
which appears on the surface," (p. 380,) has been 
fully, and as it is hoped effectually refuted. 

And here I might lay down my pen. For since, at 
the end of 74 pages, the Professor thus delivers him- 
self, (in a kind of imitation of St. Paul's language d ,) 
" Of what has been said, this is the sum, ' That 
Scripture, like other books, has one meaning, which has 
to be gathered from itself .... without regard to a 
priori notions about its nature and origin:" that, "It 
is to be interpreted like other books, with attention to 
the prevailing state of civilization and knowledge," 
and so forth ; (p. 404 ;) it must suffice to say that, 
having established the very opposite conclusion, I 
claim to have effectually answered his Essay ; because 
I have overthrown what he admits to be " the sum" 
of it. Let me be permitted however before I pro- 
ceed to review some other parts of his performance, 
in the briefest manner, not so much to recapitulate, as 
to exhibit < the sum' of what has been hitherto de- 
d Heb. viii. 1. 


livered on the other side ; in somewhat different lan- 
guage, and as it were from a different point of view. 

We are presented then, in the New Testament Scrip- 
tures, with the august spectacle of the Ancient of Days 
holding the entire volume of the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures in His Hands, and interpreting it of Himself. 
He, whose Life and Death are set forth in the Gospel ; 
whose Church's early fortunes are set forth histo- 
rically in the Acts, while its future prospects are 
shadowed prophetically in the Apocalypse; whose 
Doctrines, lastly, are explained in the twenty-one Epi- 
stles of St. Paul and St. Peter, St. James and St. John 
and St. Jude : He, the Incarnate WORD, who was " in 
the beginning ;" who " was with GOD," and who " was 
GOD :" that same Almighty One, I repeat, is exhi- 
bited to us in the Gospel, repeatedly, holding the 
Volume of the Old Testament Scriptures in His Hands, 
and explaining it of Himself . " To day is this Scripture 
fulfilled in your ears e ," was the solemn introductory 
sentence with which, in the Synagogue of Nazareth, 
(after closing the Book and giving it again to the 
Minister,) He prefaced His Sermon from the Ixist 
chapter of Isaiah. " Had ye believed Moses, ye would 
have believed Me : for Tie wrote of Me f ." " ( fools, 
and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have 
spoken! Ought not CHRIST to have suffered these 
things, and to enter into His glory?' And beginning 
at Moses , and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in 
all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself*" 
" These are the words which I spake unto you, that 
all things must be fulfilled which are ivritten in the 

e St. Luke iv. 21. ' St. John v. 46. 

St. Luke xxiv. 27. 


Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, 
concerning Me V 

" CHRIST was before Moses. The Gospel was not 
made for the Law; but the Law was made for the 
Gospel. The Gospel is not based on the Law, but the 
Law is a shadow of the Gospel. In order to believe 
the Bible, we must look upward ; and fix our eyes on 
JESUS CHRIST, sitting in Heavenly Glory, holding both 
Testaments in His Hand; sealing both Testaments 
with His seal; and delivering both Testaments as 
Divine Oracles, to the "World. We must receive the 
written Word from the Hands of the INCARNATE WORD*." 

This august spectacle, let it be clearly stated, (1) 
Establishes, beyond all power of contradiction, the 
intimate connexion which subsists between the Old 
and the New Testament; as well as the altogether 
unique relation which the one bears to the other : 
(2) Invests either Testament with a degree of sacred 
importance and majestic grandeur which altogether 
makes the Bible unlike " any other book :" (3) Proves 
that the Bible is to be interpreted as no other book 
ever was, or ever can be interpreted: (4) Demon- 
strates that it has more than a single meaning : and 
lastly, (5) Convincingly shews that GOD, and not Man, 
is its true Author. 

It will of course be asked, Then does Mr. Jowett 
take no notice at all of this vast and complicated pro- 
blem ? How does he treat of the relation between the 
Old Testament and the New ? ... He despatches the 
entire subject in the following passage : " The ques- 
tion," (he says,) " runs up into a more general one, 

h St. Luke xxiv. 44. 

1 Dr. Wordsworth (Occasional Sermon 54,) On the Inspiration 
of the Old Testament, (1859,) p. 70. 


1 the relation between the Old and New Testaments.' 
For the Old Testament will receive a different meaning 
accordingly as it is explained from itself, or from the 
New" (Very different certainly !) " In the first case, 
a careful and conscientious study of each one for 
itself is all that is required." (That is to say, it will 
not be explained at all !) "In the second case, 
the types and ceremonies of the Law, perhaps the very 
facts and persons of the history, WILL BE ASSUMED (!) to 
be predestined or made after a pattern corresponding 
to the things that were to be in the latter days." 
(p. 370.) (And why not " will be found to be replete 
with Christian meaning, full of lofty spiritual signifi- 
cancy ?" the proved marvellousness of their texture, 
the revealed mysteriousness of their purpose, being 
an effectual refutation of all Mr. Jowett's a priori 
notions !) 

"And this question," (he proceeds,) "stirs up 
another question respecting the Interpretation of the 
Old Testament in the New. Is such Interpretation 
to be regarded as the meaning of the original text, or 
an accommodation of it to the thoughts of other times ?" 
(Nay, but Eeverend and learned Sir : " nothing so 
plain," as you justly observe, " that it may not be 
explained away ;" (p. 359 ;) yet we cannot consent 
to have the sense of plain words thus clouded over at 
your mere bidding. It is now our turn to declare that 
the Interpreter's " object is to read Scripture like any 
other book, with a real interest and not merely a con- 
ventional one." It is now we who " want to be able 
to open our eyes, and see things as they truly are." 
(p. 338.) We simply petition for leave to " interpret 
Scripture like any other book, by the same rules of 
evidence and the same canons of criticism" (p. 375.) 


And if this freedom be but conceded to us, there will 
be found to be no imaginable reason why the Inter- 
pretation of the Old Testament in the New, (CHRIST 
Himself being the Majestic Speaker ! our present edi- 
fication and everlasting welfare being His gracious 
purpose !) should not be strictly " regarded as the 
meaning of the original text." . . . But let us hear the 
Professor out : ) 

" Our object," (he says, and with this he dismisses 
the problem !) " Our object is not to attempt here the 
determination of these questions ; but to point out that 
they must be determined before any real progress can 
be made, or any agreement arrived at in the Interpre- 
tation of Scripture." (p. 370.) . . . They must indeed. 
But can it be right in this slovenly, slippery style to 
shirk a discussion on the issue of which the whole 
question may be said to turn ? especially on the part 
of one who scruples not to prejudge that issue, and 
straightway to apply it, (in a manner fatal to the 
Truth,) throughout all his hundred pages. Mr. Jowett's 
method is ever to assume what he ought to prove, and 
then either to be plaintive, or to sneer. "It is a 
heathenish or Rabbinical fancy :" "Such complexity 
would place the Scriptures below human compositions 
in general; for it would deprive them of the ordinary 
intelligibleness of human language" (p. 382) : &c. 

" Is the Interpretation of the Old Testament in 
the New to be regarded as the meaning of the original 
text ; or an accommodation of it to the thoughts of other 
times ?" (p< 370.) This is Mr. Jowett's question ; the 
question which it is " not his object to attempt to de- 
termine ;" but which I, on the contrary, have made it 
my object to discuss in my YIth Sermon, p. 183 to 
p. 220. Without troubling the reader however now 


to wade through those many pages, let me at least 
explain to him in a few words what Mr. Jowett's 
question really amounts to : namely this, Do the 
Apostles and Evangelists, does our Blessed LORD 
Himself, when He professes to explain the mysterious 
significancy of the Old Testament, invariably, in 
every instance, misrepresent " the meaning of the ori- 
ginal text?" And the answer to this question I am 
content to await from any candid person of plain un- 
sophisticated understanding. Is it credible, concern- 
ing the Divine expositions found in St. Matth. xxii. 
31, 32, xxii. 43-5, xii. 39, 40, xi. 10, St. John 
viii. 17, 18, i. 52, vi. 31, &c., x. 34-5 : the Apo- 
stolic interpretations found in 1 Cor. ix. 9 11, 
x. 16, xv. 20, Heb. ii. 5 9, vii. 110, Gal. 
iv. 21 31 : is it conceivable, I ask, that not one of 
all these places should exhibit the actual ' meaning of 
the original text ? ' And yet, (as Mr. Jowett himself is 
forced to admit,) " If we attribute to the details of 
the Mosaical ritual a reference to the New Testament, 
or suppose the passage of the Eed Sea to be regarded 
not merely as a figure of Baptism, but as a pre- 
ordained type; the principle is conceded!" (p. 369.) 
" A little more or a little less of the method does not 
make the difference." (Ibid.) In a word, in such 
case, Mr. Jowett's Essay falls to the ground ! ... To 
proceed however. 

3- The case of Interpretation has not yet been 
fully set before the reader. Hitherto, we have merely 
traced the problem back to the fountain-head, and 
dealt with it simply as a Scriptural question. We 
have shewn what light is thrown upon Interpretation 
by the volume of Inspiration. The subject has been 
treated in the same way in the Vth and Vlth of my 


Sermons. But it will not be improper, in this place, 
it is even indispensable, to develope the problem 
a little more fully ; and to explain that it is of much 
larger extent. 

Now, there is a family resemblance in the method of 
all ancient expositions of Holy Scripture which vindi- 
cates for them, however remotely, a common origin. 
There is a resemblance in the general way of handling 
the Inspired "Word which can only be satisfactorily 
explained by supposing that the remote type of all 
was the oral teaching of the Apostles themselves. 
In truth, is it credible that the early Christians would 
have been so forgetful of the discourses of the men 
who had seen the LORD, that no trace of it, no 
tradition of so much as the manner of it, should have 
lingered on for a hundred years after the death of 
the last of the Apostles ; down to the time when 
Origen, for example, was a young man ? .... It can- 
not possibly be ! 

(i.) " The things which thou hast heard of me among 
many witnesses," (writes the great Apostle to his 
son Timothy,) " the same commit thou to faithful 
men, who shall be able to teach others also k ." Pro- 
vision is thus made by the aged Saint, in the last 
of his Epistles, for the transmission of his inspired 
teaching 1 to a second and a third generation. Now 
the words just quoted were written about the year 
65, at which time Timothy was a young man. Un- 
less we suppose that ALMIGHTY GOD curtailed the 
lives of the chief depositaries of His "Word, Timothy 
will have lived on till A.D. 100; so that "faithful 
men" who died in the middle of the next century 
might have been trained and taught by him for many 
k 2 Tiui. ii. 2. ! See the middle of p. cxcvii. 


years. It follows, that the " faithful men " last 
spoken of will have been " able to teach others also," 
whose writings (if they wrote at all) would range 
from A.D. 190 to A.D. 210. Now, just such a writer 
is Hippolytus, who is known to have been taught 
by that " faithful man" Irenseus m , to whom, as it 
happens, the deposit was "committed" by Poly carp, 
who stood to St. John in the self-same relation as 
Timothy to St. Paul ! 

(ii.) Our SAVIOUR is repeatedly declared to have in- 
terpreted the Old Testament to His Disciples. For 
instance, to the two going to Emmaus, " beginning 
at Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them 
in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself*" 
Moreover, before He left the world, He solemnly 
promised His Apostles that the HOLY GHOST, whom 
the FATHER should send in His Name, " should teach 
them all things, and bring to their remembrance all things 
which He had spoken to them " Shall we believe that 
the Treasury of Divine Inspiration thus opened by 
CHRIST Himself was straightway closed up by its 
human guardians, and at once forgotten ? Shall we 
not rather believe that Cleopas and his companion, 
(for instance,) forthwith repeated their LORD'S words 
to every member of the Apostolic body, and to others 
also ; that they were questioned again and again by 

m Pliotms, p. 195, ed. Bekker. "Eossimul jungendos censui, 
Polycarpum, Irenaeum, Hippolytum ; cum Hippolytus discipulus 
Irenaei fuisset, Irenseusque Polycarpum, Joannis Apostoli discipulum, 
audivisset." Routh, Preface to Opuscula, p. x. 

n St. Luke xxiv. 27. 

St. John xiv. 26. The fulfilment of this promise repeatedly oc- 
curs : as in St. John ii. 17, 22 : xii. 16 : xiii. 7 : St. Luke xxiv. 8. 
Consider St. John xx. 9. 


adoring listeners, even to their extremest age ; aye, 
and that they taxed their memories to the utmost in 
order to recal every little word, every particular of 
our SAVIOUR'S Divine utterance ? It must be so ! 
And the echo, the remote echo of that exposition, 
depend upon it ! descended to a second, aye and to 
a third generation ; yea, and has come down, faintly, 
and feebly it may be, but yet essentially and truly, 
even to ourselves ! 

(iii.) And yet, (for we would not willingly incur 
the charge of being fanciful in so solemn and impor- 
tant a matter,) the great fact to be borne in mind, 
(and it is the great fact which nothing can ever set 
aside or weaken,) is, that for the first century at least 
of our sera, there existed within the Christian Church 
the gift of Prophecy ; that is, of Inspired Interpreta- 
tion*. The minds of the Apostles, CHRIST Himself 
" opened, to understand the Scriptures q ." Can it be 
any matter of surprise that men so enlightened, when 
they had been miraculously endowed with the gift of 
tongues r , and scattered over the face of the ancient 
civilized "World, should have disseminated the same 
principles of Catholic Interpretation, as well as the 
same elements of Saving Truth ? "When this mira- 
culous gift ceased, its results did not also come to an 
end. The fountain dried up, but the streams which 
it had sent forth yet " made glad the City of GOD." 
And by what possible logic can the teaching of the 
early Church be severed from its source ? It cannot be 
supposed for an instant that such a severance ever 
took place. The teaching of the Apostolic age was 
the immediate parent of the teaching of the earliest 

p 1 Cor. xii., xiii., xiv., &c. * St. Luke xxiv. 45. 

r Acts ii. 421. 


of the Fathers, in whose Schools it is matter of 
history that those Patristic writers with whom we 
are most familiar, studied and became famous. Ac- 
cordingly, we discover a method of Interpreting Holy 
Scripture strictly resembling that employed by our 
SAVIOUR and His Apostles, in all the earliest Patris- 
tic writings. As documents increase, the evidence is 
multiplied ; and at the end of two or three centuries 
after the death of St. John the Evangelist, voices are 
heard from Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine ; 
from Antioch and from other parts of Syria ; from 
the Eastern and the "Western extremities of North 
Africa ; from many regions of Asia Minor ; from Con- 
stantinople and from Greece ; from Eome, from Milan, 
and from other parts of Italy ; from Cyprus and from 
Gaul ; all singing in unison ; all singing the same 
heavenly song ! ... In what way but one is so ex- 
traordinary a phenomenon to be accounted for ? Are 
we to believe that there was a general conspiracy of 
the East and the West, the North and the South, 
to interpret Holy Scripture in a certain way; and 
that way, the wrong way ? 

Enough has been said, it is thought, to shew that 
many of Mr. Jowett's remarks about the value of Patris- 
tic evidence are either futile or incorrect ; or that they 
betray an entire misapprehension of the whole ques- 
tion, not to say a thorough want of appreciation of the 
claims of Antiquity. We do not yield to the ( Essayist 
and Eeviewer' in veneration for the Inspired page; 
and trust that enough has been said to shew it. Our 
eye, when we read Scripture, (like his,) "is fixed on 
the form of One like the Son of Man ; or of the Prophet 
who was girded with a garment of camel's hair ; or of 
the Apostle who had a thorn in the flesh." (p. 338.) 


We are only unlike Mr. Jowett we fear in this, that 
we believe ex animo that the first-named was the 
Eternal SON, " equal to the FATHER," and " of one 
substance with the FATHER 8 :" and further that St. 
Paul's fourteen Epistles are all inspired writings , in an 
entirely different sense from the Dialogues of Plato or 
the Tragedies of Sophocles. It follows, that however 
riveted our mental gaze may be on the awful forms 
which come before us in Holy Scripture, as often as 
we con the inspired record of the actions and of the say- 
ings of those men, we are constrained many a time to 
look upward, and to exclaim with the Psalmist, " Thy 
thoughts are very deep*!" And often if asked, 
" Understandest thou what thou readest?" we must 
still answer with the Ethiopian, " How can I, except 
some man should guide me u ?" 

(iv.) To assume however that our defective know- 
ledge " cannot be supplied by the conjectures of Fa- 
thers or Divines," (p. 338,) is in some sort to beg the 
question at issue. To say of the student of Scripture 
that "the history of Christendom, and all the after- 
thoughts of Theology, are nothing to him :" (p. 338 :) 
that " he has to imagine himself a disciple of CHRIST 
or Paul, and to disengage himself from all that fol- 
lows :" (Ibid. :) is not the language of modesty, but of 
inordinate conceit. In Mr. Jowett it is in fact some- 
thing infinitely worse; for he shews that his object 
thereby is to " obtain an unembarrassed opportunity 

8 See Mr. Jowett's Essay, p. 354. * Ps. xcii. 5. 

u Acts viii. 30, 31. '" Revel a/ inquit David, ' oculos meos, et 
considerabo mirabilia de Lege Tua.' Si tantus Propheta tenebras 
ignorantise confitetur, qua nos putas parvulos, et pene lactantes, 
inscitiae nocte circumdari ? Hoc autera velamen non solum in facie 
Moysi, sed et in Evangelistis et in Apostolis positum est." Hiero- 
nymus, Ep. Iviii. vol. i. p. 323. 


of applying all the resources of a so-called criticism to 
discredit and destroy the written record itself V 

" True indeed it is, that more than any other subject 
of human knowledge, Biblical criticism has hung (sic.) 
to the past ;" (p. 340 ;) but the reason is also obvious. 
It is because, in the words of great Bishop Pearson, 
" Philosophia quotidie progressu, Theologia nisi re- 
gressu non crescit 7 ." " ye who are devoting your- 
selves to the Divine Science of Theology," (he ex- 
claims,) " and whose cheeks grow pale over the study 
of Holy Scripture above all; ye who either fill the 
venerable office of the Priesthood or intend it, and are 
hereafter to undertake the awful cure of souls : rid 
yourselves of that itch of the present age, the love of 
novelty. Make it your business to inquire for that 
which was from the beginning. Eesort for counsel to 
the fountain-head. Have recourse to Antiquity. Ee- 
turn to the holy Fathers. Look back to the primitive 
Church. In the words of the Prophet, c Ask for the 
old paths*. > " 

When therefore Mr. Jowett classes together "the 
early Fathers, the Eoman Catholic mystical writers, 
the Swiss and German Eeformers, and the Noncon- 
formist Divines," (p. 377,) he either shews a most 
lamentable want of intellectual perspective, or a most 
perverse understanding. So jumbled into one con- 
fused heap, it may not be altogether untrue to say of 
Commentators generally, that " the words of Scripture 
suggest to them their own thoughts or feelings" (p. 377.) 
But when it is straightway added, " There is nothing 
in such a view derogatory to the Saints and Doctors of 
former ages," (Ibid,,) we are constrained, (for the reasons 

x Dr. Moberly, as before, pp. liii.-iv. 
7 Minor Works, vol. ii. p. 10. z Hid. p. 6. 


already before the reader,) to remonstrate against so 
misleading and deceitful a way of putting the case. 
Mr. Jowett desires to be understood not to depreciate 
" the genius or learning of famous men of old," when 
he remarks "that Aquinas or Bernard did not shake 
themselves free from the mystical method of the Patristic 
times" (Ibid.) But with singular obtuseness, or with 
pitiful disingenuousness, he does his best by such 
words to shut out from view the real question at issue, 
namely, the exegetical value of Patristic Antiquity. 
For the Church of England, when she appeals, (as 
she repeatedly does,) to " the Ancient Fathers," does 
not by any means intend such names as the Abbot 
of Clairvaux, who nourished in the middle of the 
twelfth century; or Thomas of Aquinum, who lived 
later into the thirteenth. It is the spirit of the ante- 
Nicene age which she defers to ; the Fathers of the 
Jirst four or jive centuries to whose opinion she gives 
reverent attention; as her formularies abundantly 
shew. "Whether therefore Aquinas and Bernard were 
or were not able to " shake themselves free from the 
mystical method of the Patristic times" matters very 
little. The point to be observed is that the Writers of 
the Patristic times, as a matter of fact, " did not shake 
themselves free from the mystical method of" CHRIST and 
His Jpostles ! 

Yery far am I from denying that " any one who, 
instead of burying himself in the pages of the com- 
mentators, would learn the Sacred Writings by heart, 
and paraphrase them in English, will probably make 
a nearer approach to their true meaning than he 
would gather from any Commentary." Quite certain 
is it that " the true use of Interpretation is to get rid 
of interpretation, and leave us alone in company with 


the author." (p. 384.) But this is quite a distinct 
and different matter, as every person of unsophisticated 
understanding must perceive at once. The same thing 
will be found stated by myself, in a subsequent part 
of the present volume, at considerable length a ; the 
qualifying condition having been introduced at p. 16. 
The truth is, a man can no more divest himself of the 
conditions of thought habitual to one familiar with his 
Prayer-Book, than he can withdraw himself from the 
atmosphere of light in which he moves. Not the abuse 
of Commentators on Holy Scripture, but the principle 
on which Holy Scripture itself is to be interpreted, is 
the real question at issue : the fundamental question 
which underlies this, being of course the vital one, 
namely, Is the Bible an inspired book, or not ? 

Apart from what has been already urged concerning 
" the torrent of Patristic Interpretation b " which flows 
down not so much from the fountain-head of Scripture, 
(wherein so many specimens of Inspired Interpretation 
are preserved,) as from the fontal source of all Wisdom 
and Knowledge, even the lips of the Incarnate WORD 
Himself; apart from this, a very important Historical 
circumstance calls for notice in this place. 

How did Christianity originate? how did it first 
establish a footing in the world ? " The answer is, By 
the preaching of living men, who said they were com- 
missioned by GOD to proclaim it. That was the origin 
and first establishment of Christianity. There is in- 
deed a vague and unreasoning notion prevalent that 
Christianity was taken from the New Testament. The 
notion is historically untrue. Christianity was widely 
extended through the civilized world before the New 
Testament was written; and its several books were 

* See Serrn. I. pp. 10-11, 13, &c. b See below, p. 142. 



successively addressed to various bodies of Christian 
believers ; to bodies, that is, who already possessed the 
faith of CHRIST in its integrity. When, indeed, GOD 
ceased to inspire persons to write these books, and 
when they were all collected together into what we 
call the New Testament, the existing Faith of the 
Church, derived from oral teaching, was tested by 
comparison with this Inspired Record. And it hence- 
forth became the standing law of the Church that 
nothing should be received as necessary to Salvation, 
which could not stand that test. But still, though 
thus tested, (every article being proved by the New 
Testament,) Christianity is not taken from it ; for it 
existed before it. 

"What, then, was the Christianity which was thus 
established ? Have we any record of it as it existed 
before the New Testament became the sole autho- 
ritative standard? I answer, we have. The Creeds 
of the Christian Church are the record of it. That is 
precisely what they purport to be : not documents 
taken from the New Testament, but documents trans- 
mitting to us the Faith as it was held from the begin- 
ning ; the Faith as it was preached by inspired men, 
before the inspired men put. forth any writings ; the 
Faith once for all delivered to the Saints. Accordingly 
you will find that our Church in her viiith Article does 
not ground her affirmation that the Creeds ought to 
be ' thoroughly received and believed,' on the fact 
that they were taken from the New Testament, (which 
they were not;} but on the fact that < they may be 
proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture} ' 

It follows therefore from what has been said, that 
even if bad men could succeed in destroying the autho- 
rity of the Bible as the Word of G OD, all could not be 


up with Christianity. There would still remain to be 
dealt with the Faith as it exists in the world; the 
Faith held from the beginning; the Faith once de- 
livered to the Saints. None of the assaults on Holy 
Scripture can touch that ; for it traces itself to an 
independent origin. The evil work, therefore, would 
have to be begun all over again. The special doc- 
trines which are impugned in 'Essays and Ee views' 
do not stand or fall with the Inspiration or Interpre- 
tation of Scripture ; but are stereotyped in the Faith 
of Christendom. " The Fall of Man, Original Sin, the 
Atonement, the Divinity of CHRIST, the Trinity, all 
have their place in the Faith held from the beginning. 
They are imbedded in the Creeds, and in that general 
scheme of Doctrine which circles round the Creeds, 
and is involved in them. Nay, curiously enough, or 
rather I should say providentially, the very point 
against which the attacks of this book are principally 
directed, namely the Inspiration of the Old Testament, 
is in express terms asserted there : the HOLY GHOST 
' spake ~by the Prophets V " 

It remains to shew the bearing of these remarks 
on Mr. Jowett's Essay. With infinite perseverance, 
he dwells upon "the nude Scripture, the merest letter 
of the Sacred Volume, as if in it and in it alone, 
resided the entire Eevelation of CHRIST, and all pos- 
sible means of judging what that Eevelation consists 
of: whereas this is very far indeed from being the 

c From a Sermon by the Rev. F. "Woodward, quoted below, at p. 
249. In illustration of the learned writer's concluding remark, take 
this from the Creed of Lyons, contained in Irenaeus (A.D. 180), 
Kat els Ili/eC/ia "Ayiov, TO dia ran/ HpoffrrjT&v KfKrjpvxbs ras otKovopias, KOI 
Tas cXcvo-eis. In the Creed of Constantinople, we read, To n>eO/*a TO 
"Aytov ... TO XaAJJo-af 8ta TO>V Hpo^>r]r5>v 



case. Every single Book of the New Testament was 
written, as we have seen, to persons already in posses- 
sion of Christian Truth. It is quite erroneous there- 
fore, historically and notoriously erroneous, to suppose 
either that the Divine Institution of the Church, or 
that its Doctrines, were literally founded upon, the 
written words of Holy Scripture ; or that they can 
impart no illustration nor help in the Interpretation 

of those written words The complete possession 

of the saving Truth belonged to the Christian Church 
not by degrees, nor in lapse of time, but from the 
first. Of that saving truth, thus taught and thus 
possessed, the Apostles' Creed, growing up as it did 
on every side of Christendom as the faithful record 
of the uniform oral teaching of the Apostles, is the 
true and precious historical monument d ; and I ven- 

d The Creed of Lyons begins by describing itself as that which 
t] fj,ev 'EKAcXjjo'ta, Kaincp Kaff 0X775- TTJS OLKovfievrjs etos irepaTcov rfjs yrjs 
8i(r7rap[j.evr], Trapa de rail/ c A7rooToX(>i> KOI T>V eKeiva)v /ia0r;rai> Trapa- 
Xa/3oo-a, K.r.X. Most refreshing of all, however, are the concluding 
words of that Creed : so comfortable are they that I cannot deny 
myself the consolation of transcribing them here, where indeed they 
are very much ad rem : 

ToCro TO Krjpvypa TrapetXr^wa, Kat ravTrjv rfjv TT'KTTIV^ as 7rpoe(fcafjiev, rj 
eKKhrjo-ia, Kainep ev oAo> ra> K0(r/xa> 8ie(nrapp,evrj, eVt/ieXa)? <pv\dcr(rei ) a>s fva 


Kapdiav KOI (TVfJLffxuvas ravra Krjpixrcrfi) KOI SiSacr/cei, KCU TrapaSi- 
, &s fv o-To/za KeKTrjfjievr)- Kai yap at Kara rov KOO-/AOI/ StczXeKTOi 
i, aXX' 17 dvvapts rrjs Trapadocrecas pia Kal rj avrff. Kat ovre at ev 
pvpevai eKK\rj(riai aXXcoy TreTrto-rf i>Ka(riv, rj aXXco? 7rapaSt8oa(rtj/, 
OVTC fv raty 'l/Sqpi'at?, ovre ev KfXrois, ovre Kara ras ai/aroXay, ovre ev 
AlyvTTTta, OIJTC ev Aifivrj, ovre at Kara /weVa roO *c6cr/iov tSpu/xtVat. *AXX* 

QHTTTfp 6 J^XlOS, TO KTlCTfJia TOV 0eo, CV oXa) r(5 KOCTflft) flS KOI 6 UVTOS, OVT(O 

Kal TO Krjpvypa TTJS aXrjdeias TravTaxfj (paivei, Kal </>am'ei Travray dvOpunovs 
rovs POV\OIJ.VOVS els eiriyvaxriv d\r)6eias e\deiv. Kat oure 6 TrafU dvvaTos 
ev Xoyo> ran/ ev rais rjcxXiytrtatC irpocaTaTwv erepa TOVTO>V epei, (ovdels yap 
VTrep TOV StSacr/caXoi',) ovre 6 daQevrjs ev raj Xoyw cXarrwo-et Tr,v napddoaiv. 


ture to say that if any person claims to reject the 
Apostles' Creed as an auxiliary, a great and invalu- 
able auxiliary, in interpreting the writings of the 
Apostles, he shews himself to be very wanting indeed 
in appreciation of the comparative value of Historical 
Evidence, and of the true principles of Historical 
Philosophy. And not the Apostles' Creed only ; but 
the whole history and tradition of the universal 
Church, needing, no doubt, skill and discretion in 
its application, supply, when applied with requisite 
skill and discretion, very valuable and real aid in 
interpreting Holy Scripture 6 ." 

When therefore Mr. Jowett speaks contemptuously 
of "the attempt to adapt the truths of Scripture to 
the doctrines of the Creeds," (p. 353,) the kindest 
thing which can be said is that he writes like an igno- 
rant, or at least an unlearned man. " The Creeds" 
(he says) "are acknowledged to be a part of Chris- 
tianity .... Yet it does not follow that they should 
be pressed into the service of the Interpreter." Why 
not ? we ask. " The growth of ideas" (he replies,) 
" in the interval which separated the first century 
from the fourth or sixth makes it impossible to apply 
the language of the one to the explanation of the 
other. Between Scripture and the Mcene or Atha- 
nasian Creeds, a world of the understanding comes in ; 
and mankind are no longer at the same point as when 
the whole of Christianity was contained in the words 
' Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST and thou mayest 
be saved;' when the Gospel centred in the attach- 

Mias 1 -yap KOI TTJS avrrjs TTI(TTCQ>S ova-rjs, ovre 6 7roAi> rrepl avrrjs 
flnelv 7T\e6i>a<Tev, ovre 6 TO o\iyov T)\arr6vT](TC. See Heiirtley's 
monia Synibolica, p. 9. 

e Abridged from Dr. Hoberly, as before, pp. lii.-v. 


ment to a living and recently departed friend and 
Lord." (p. 353.) 

But there is a fallacy or a falsity at every step 
of this argument. For when did the Gospel ever 
" Centre in attachment ?" or when was " the whole of 
Christianity contained" in one short sentence ? Sup- 
posing too that " a world of the understanding" does 
come in between the first century and the sixth ; 
how does it follow that it is " impossible" to apply 
the language of the Creeds to the interpretation of 
Holy Scripture ? Explain to me how that " world of 
understanding" affects the Nicene Creed ? Even in the 
case of that most precious Creed called the Athana- 
sian, why need we assume that " the growth of ideas" 
has been a spurious growth ? What if it should prove, 
on the contrary, that the development has been that 
of the plant from the seed f ? Above all, why talk of 
" the fourth or sixth century," as if the Creeds were 
not essentially much older; nay, co-eval with Chris- 
tianity itself? .... Such writing shews nothing so 
much as a confused mind, a weak, ill-informed, and 
illogical thinker. 

Indeed Mr. Jowett seems to be altogether in the 
dark on the subject of the Creeds : for he speaks of 
them as "the result of three or four centuries of 
reflection and controversy," (p. 353,) which is by no 
means true of all of them ; nor, except in a certain 
sense, of any. But when he inquires, "If the oc- 
currence of the phraseology of the Nicene age in 
a verse of the Epistles would detect the spuriousness 

f Kal ovTTfp rpotrov 6 rov o-tvdjrfas (riropos, tv /ujcpcp KOKKU, TroXXou? 
ircpie%fi rovs K\d8ovf, ovra> KOI f) H'KTTIS avrrj, eV oXiyots prjp.acri, iraa-av 
TTJV ev rfi IlaXata KOI Katvfj rrjs fvarcfteias yvSxnv eyxcxoXTrtcrrat. Cyril. 

Hieros. Cat. v. 12, quoted by Heurtley. 


of the verse in which, it was found, how can the 
Nicene or Athanasian Creed be a suitable instrument 
for the interpretation of Scripture?" (p. 354.) he 
simply asks a fool's question. The cases are not only 
not parallel, but there is not even any analogy be- 
tween them. Let us hear him a little further : 

" Absorbed as St. Paul was in the person of Christ, 
.... he does not speak of Him as ' equal to the 
Father,' or ' of one substance with the Father g .' 
Much of the language of the Epistles, (passages for 
example such as Eomans i. 2 : Philippians ii. 6,) 
would lose their meaning if distributed in alternate 
clauses between our LORD'S Humanity and Divinity h . 
Still greater difficulties would be introduced into the 
Gospels by the attempt to identify them with the 
Creeds 1 . "We should have to suppose that He was 
and was not tempted k ; that when He prayed to His 
Father He prayed also to Himself. 1 ; that He knew 
and did not know ' of that hour' of which He as well 
as the angels were ignorant m . How could He have 
said 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken 

g Answer. He certainly does not employ the identical language 
of the Nicene Council, or of the (so called) Athanasian Creed. But 
what then ? 

h Ans. Passages of the Epistles " distributed in alternate clauses 
between our LORD'S Humanity and Divinity," begging Mr. Jowett's 
pardon, is nonsense. But no passage in St. Paul's Epistles which 
relates to the Humanity, or to the Divinity of CHKIST, could be said 
to " lose its meaning" by being unlocked by its own proper clue : or, 
if the statement be complex, by being distributed under two heads. 

1 Ans. But not, I suppose, to reconcile them ? Why use inaccu- 
rate language on so solemn a subject ? 

k Ans. Doubtless we have to suppose this ! 

1 Ans. Not so. Por " there is one Person of the FATHEE, and 
another of the SON." 

m Ans. Doubtless we have to suppose this ! 


Me ?' or * Father, if it be possible let this cup pass 
from Me.' How could He have doubted whether 
1 when the Son of Man cometh He shall find faith 
upon the earth n ?' These simple and touching words," 
(p. 355,) pah ! 

Now if what precedes means anything at all, (I 
am by no means certain however that it does !) it 
means that the writer does not believe in the Divinity 
of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Unless the sentence which 
is without a reference to the foot of the page be not 
a denial of the fundamental Doctrine of the Faith , 
I do not understand it. But look at all which precedes ; 
and then say if those are the remarks of a man entitled 
to dogmatize " On the Interpretation of Scripture." 
.... If Mr. Jowett really means that the Creeds 
cannot be reconciled with the Bible, how can he him- 
self subscribe to the Ylllth Article? If he means 
nothing of the kind, why does he write in such 
a weak, cloudy, illogical way ? 

But the whole of the case has not even yet been 
stated. Down from the remote period of which we 
have been hitherto speaking, the age of primitive 
Creeds, and oecumenical Councils, and ancient Fathers, 
in every country of the civilized world to which 
the Gospel has spread, the loftiest Intellect, the pro- 
foundest Learning, the sincerest Piety, have invariably 
endorsed the ancient and original method of inter- 
pretation. I am not implying that such corrobora- 
tion was in any sense required ; but the circumstance 
that it has been obtained^ at least deserves attention. 
Modes of thought are dependent on times and coun- 
tries. There is a fashion in all things. Great ad- 

n Ans. But He did not doubt ! 

1 St. John iv. 2, 3.2 St. John ver. 7. 


vances in Science, grand epochs in civilization, 
vicissitudes of opinion, difference of institutions, na- 
tional traditions, and the like, might be supposed to 
have wrought a permanent change even in this de- 
partment of Sacred Science. But it is not so. The 
storm has raged from one quarter or other of the hea- 
vens, but has ever spent its violence in vain. Still 
has the Church Catholic retained her own unbroken 
tradition. To keep to the history of that Church to 
which we, by GOD'S mercy, belong : The constant ap- 
peal, at the time of our own great Eeformation, was 
to the Fathers of the first four centuries. Ever since, 
the temper and spirit of our Commentators has been 
to revert to the same standard, to reproduce the 
same teaching. The most powerful minds and the 
most holy spirits, English Divines of the deepest 
thought and largest reading, let me add, of the 
soundest judgment and severest discrimination, have, 
in every age, down to the present, gratefully accepted 
not only the method, but even the very details of 
primitive Patristic Interpretation. But "the accept- 
ance of a hundred generations and the growing au- 
thority arising from it," like " the institutions based 
upon such ancient writings, and the history into which 
they have entwined themselves indissolubly for many 
centuries," all conspire to " constitute a perpetually 
increasing and strengthening p " body of evidence on 
the subject of Sacred Interpretation. 

Now, to oppose (1) to the learning, and piety, and 
wisdom, of every age of the English Church, (2) to 
the unbroken testimony of the Church Universal, 
(3) to the torrent of Patristic Antiquity, (4) to the 
decision of early Councils, and (5) the * still small 
p Dr. Moberly, as before, p. xlvii. 


voice ' of primitive Creeds, yet more, (6) to the con- 
stant practice of the Apostles, and, above all, (7) to 
the indisputable method of our Divine LORD Himself; 
to oppose to all this mighty accumulation of evi- 
dence, the simple a priori convictions of Mr. Jowett ! 
savours so strongly of the ridiculous, that it really 
seems superfluous to linger over the antithesis for 
a single moment. 

4. Our task might now be looked upon as com- 
pleted. It only remains, in justice to the gentleman 
whose method we have been considering, to ascertain 
by what considerations he is induced to reject that 
method of Interpretation which, as we have seen, en- 
joys such overwhelming sanction. 

(i) In opposition to what goes before, then, he 
throws out a suggestion, that " nothing would be 
more likely to restore a natural feeling on this sub- 
ject than a History of the Interpretation of Scripture. 
It would take us back to the beginning; it would 
present in one view the causes which have darkened 
the meaning of words in the course of ages." (p. 338-9.) 
" Such a work would enable us to separate the ele- 
ments of Doctrine and Tradition with which the 
meaning of Scripture is encumbered in our own day." 
(p. 339.) 

Let us here be well understood with our author. 
The advantage of a good " History of Interpretation" 
would indeed be incalculably great. But Mr. Jowett, 
(like most other writers of his class,) assumes the point 
he has to prove, when he insinuates that the result of 
such a contribution to our Theological Literature would 
be to shew that all the world has been in error for 
1700 years, and that he alone is right. That ' erring 
fancy ' has often been at work in the fields of sacred 


criticism, who ever doubted ? That there have been 
epochs of Interpretation, different Schools, and 
varying tastes, in the long course of so many cen- 
turies of mingled light and darkness, learning and 
barbarism ; what need to declare ? A faithful history 
of Interpretation would of course establish these facts 
on a sure foundation. 

But the Eeverend Author forgets his Logic when 
he goes on from these undoubted generalities to imply 
that all has been confusion and utter uncertainty until 
now. Above all, common regard for the facts of the 
case ought to have preserved him from putting forth 
so monstrous a falsehood as the following : " Among 
German Commentators there is for the first time in the 
history of the world, an approach to agreement and 
certainty." (p. 340.) 

Let us however, passing by the many crooked 
remarks and unsound inferences with which the Eeve- 
rend writer, (more suo^) delights to perplex a plain 
question p , invite him to abide by the test which he 
himself proposes. For 1700 years, (he says,) the 
Interpretation of Scripture has been obscured and 
encumbered by successive Schools of Interpretation. 
The Interpreter's concern (he says) is with the Bible 

p E. g. " "We should observe how the popular explanations of Pro- 
phecy, as in heathen (Thucyd. ii. 54,) so also in Christian times, 
had adapted themselves to the circumstances of mankind." (The 
Reverend writer can never for a moment divest himself of his 
theory that Thucydides and the Bible stand on the same footing!) 
" We might remark that in our own country, and in the present 
generation especially, the interpretation of Scripture had assumed 
an apologetic character, as though making an effort to defend itself 
against some supposed inroad of Science and Criticism." (p. 340.) 
.... Just as if any other attitude was possible when one has to do 
with ' Essayists and Reviewers !' 


itself. "The simple words of that book he tries to 
preserve absolutely pure from the refinements of later 
times. . . . The greater part of his learning is a know- 
ledge of the text itself." [He is evidently the very 
man who sweeps the Jtouse to discover the pearl of great 
price, (p. 414.)] " He has no delight in the volu- 
minous literature which has overgrown it. He has 
no theory of Interpretation. A few rules guarding 

against common errors are enough for him He 

wants to be able to open his eyes, and see or ima- 
gine things as they truly are." (p. 338.) [How 
crooked by the way is all this ! "He has no theory 
of Interpretation q ?" Why, no ; for the best of all rea- 
sons. He denies Inspiration altogether ! His "theory" 
is that the Bible is an uninspired Book! .... How 
peculiar too, and how plaintive is the " want " of the 
supposed Interpreter, "to be able to open his eyes;" 
glued up, as they no doubt are, by the superstitious 
tendencies of the nineteenth century, and the tyranny 
of an intolerant age !] 

But we may perhaps state the matter more intelli- 
gibly and simply, thus: In order to ascertain the 
true principle of Scriptural Interpretation, let us, 
divesting ourselves of the complicated and voluminous 
lore of 1700 years, resort to the Bible itself. Let us 
go for our views to the fountain-head ; and abide by 
what we shall discover there. 

A fairer proposal (as I think) never was made. It 
exactly describes the method which I have humbly 
endeavoured myself to pursue in the ensuing Sermons. 
The inquiry will be found elaborated from p. 141 to 

i One would imagine that the Essayist and his critic were 
entirely agreed. See below, p. 74, "I refuse to accept any 
theory whatsoever." And p. 115, "Theory I have none." 


p. 160 of the present volume; and the result is to be 
read on the last-named page, in the following words : 
" that it may be regarded as a fundamental rule, 
that the Bible is not to be interpreted like a common 
look. This I gather infallibly from the plain fact, 
that the inspired writers themselves habitually interpret 
it as no other book either is, or can be interpreted. Next, 
I assert without fear of contradiction that inspired 
Interpretation, whatever varieties of method it may 
exhibit, is yet uniform and unequivocal in this one 
result; namely, that it proves Holy Scripture to be 
of far deeper significancy than at first sight appears. 
By no imaginable artifice of Ehetoric or sophistry of 
evasion, by no possible vehemence of denial or plau- 
sibility of counter assertion, can it be rendered pro- 
bable that Scripture has invariably one only meaning ; 
and that meaning, the most obvious and easy." 

Now, the reader is requested to observe that what 
precedes is the direct contradictory of the position which 
Mr. Jowett has written his Essay in order to establish. 
And thus we keep for ever coming back to his irpwrov 
\jsev8os, the fundamental falsity which underlies the 
whole of what he has written. 

(ii) But although we have eagerly resorted to Scrip- 
ture itself in order to ascertain on what principle Scrip- 
ture ought to be interpreted, we cannot for a moment 
allow some of the sophistries which which the Eeverend 
Author has encumbered the question, to escape with- 
out castigation. He may not first court an appeal to 
the School of Apostolical Interpretation; and then, 
before the result of that appeal has been ascertained, 
go off in praise of the illumination of the present age ; 
and claim to represent the Theological mind of Europe 
in his own person. " Educated persons," (he has the 


impertinence to assert,) "are beginning to ask (!), not 
what Scripture may be made to mean, but what it 
does. And it is no exaggeration to say that he who 
in the present state of knowledge will confine him- 
self to the plain meaning of words, and the study of 
their context, may know more of the original spirit 
and intention of the authors of the New Testament 
than all the controversial writers of former ages put 
together" (pp. 340-1.) This might be tolerated per- 
haps, in the self- constituted oracle of a Mechanics' 
Institute; but as proceeding from a Divinity Lec- 
turer in one of the first Colleges in Oxford, I hesitate 
not to declare that such an opinion is simply dis- 

Very much of a piece with this, in point of flip- 
pancy, (though barely consistent with his frequent 
assertions that the entire subject is hemmed in by 
grave difficulties,) are the Eegius Professor of Greek's 
remarks on the value of learning as a help to the Inter- 
pretation of Holy "Writ. " Learning obscures as well as 
illustrates." (p. 337.) "There seem to be reasons for 
doubting whether any considerable light can be thrown 
on the New Testament from inquiry into the language." 
(p. 393.) " Minute corrections of tenses or particles 
are no good." (p. 393.) "Discussions respecting the 
chronology of St. Paul's life and his second imprison- 
ment ; or about the identity of James, the brother of 
the LORD; or, in another department, respecting the 
use of the Greek article, have gone far beyond the line 
of utility." (p. 393.) "The minuteness of the study 
of Greek in our own day has also a tendency to intro- 
duce into the text associations which are not really found 
there." (p. 391.) Lastly, he complains of "the error 
of interpreting every particle, as though it were a 


link in the argument ; instead of being, as is often 
the case, an excrescence of style" (p. 391.) 

So then, in brief, the Fathers are in a conspiracy to 
mislead : Creeds and Councils encumber the sense : 
Modern Commentators are not to be trusted : the com- 
parison of Scripture with Scripture, except it be " of 
the same age and the same authors," " will tend rather 
to confuse than to elucidate :" (p. 383 :) " Learning ob- 
scures," and an accurate appreciation of the meaning of 
the text is " no good !" " When the meaning of Greek 
words is once known r , the young student has almost 

r Had the following passage occurred sooner to my recollection, 
it should have been sooner inserted: "Are we to conduct the 
Interpretation of Holy Scripture as we would that of any other 
writing ? "We are and we are not. So far as THE WORDS are con- 
cerned, the mere words of Scripture have the same office with those 
of all language written or spoken in sincerity." They must be 
studied " by the same means and the same rules which would guide 
us to the meaning of any other work ; by a knowledge of the lan- 
guages in which the books were written, the Hebrew, the Chaldee, 
the Greek, and of those other languages, as the Syriac and Arabic, 
which may illustrate them ; and of all the ordinary rules of Gram- 
mar and Criticism, and the peculiar information respecting times 
and circumstances, history and customs, all the resources, in a 
word, of the Interpretation of any work of any kind. The Gram- 
matical and Historical interpretation of profane or sacred writings 
is the same. ..." All Scripture," meanwhile, "is given ty Inspi- 
ration of GOD:" and this at once introduces several important 
differences ; which whoever neglects may yet, with whatsoever ad- 
vantages of learning and talent, fail to discover the real meaning of 
the Word of GOD." From Dr. Hawkins (Provost of Oriel) 's In- 
augural Lecture as Dean Ireland's Professor, delivered in 1847, 
pp. 29-30. 

It is but fair to Mr. Jowett to add that, in terms, he has very 
nearly (not quite) said the self-same thing himself, at p. 337, (upper 
half the page.) But it is the peculiar method of this most slippery 
writer, or most illogical thinker, occasionally to grant almost all that 
haart can desire, as far as words go ; but straightway to deny, or 



all the real materials which are possessed ly the great- 
est Biblical scholar, in the book itself." (p. 384.) In 
a word, (as Dr. Moberly has had the manliness to 
remark,) " It simply comes to this : A little Greek, 
(not too much,) and a strong self-relying imagination, 
and you may interpret Holy Scripture as well as 
Mr. Jowett !" (p. hdi,) . . . Benighted himself, the un- 
happy author of this Essay is so apprehensive lest 
a ray of light from Heaven shall break in upon one of 
his disciples, even sideways, as it were, from the 
margin of the Bible, that he carefully prohibits " the 
indiscriminate use of parallel passages" as " useless 
and uncritical." . . . Yet may one not with discrimination 
refer to the margin? Better not! " No good!" (p. 
393.) replies the Oracle. " Even the critical use of 
parallel passages is not without danger" (p. 383.) . . . 
O shame ! And all this from a College Tutor and 
Lecturer on Divinity ! this from one entrusted with 
the care of educating young men ! this from # Eegius 
Professor of Greek 6 ! 

evacuate, or explain away, the tiling which those words ought to 
signify. Thus, at p. 337, he volunteers the remark that " No one 
who has a Christian feeling would place Classical on a level with 
Sacred Literature ;" and at p. 377, he observes that, " There are 
many respects in which Scripture is unlike any other book." And 
yet, (as I have shewn, p. cxliii. to p. cl.,) Mr. Jowett puts the Bible 
on a level with Sophocles and Plato ; and argues throughout as if 
Scripture were in no essential respect unlike any other book ! 

8 " Had this writer reminded us that the New Testament Greek 
is a Greek of different age from that of the classical writers ; had he 
simply warned us that we must not press our Attic Greek scholar- 
ship too far, but study the Alexandrian Greek of the Septuagint, 
Philo, &c. in order to ascertain the exact meaning of the words and 
phrases of the writers of the New Testament ; still more, if, as the 
result of such study on his own part, he had offered us some wcll- 
digested observations on the use of tenses, articles, or particles in 

JOWETT.] 19 th CENTURY A CONTRAST TO THE 15 th & 16 th . CXclii 

Mr. Jowett congratulates himself that " Biblical 
criticism has made two great steps onward, at the 
time of the Beformation, and in our own day?"* But 
his notion is amply refuted by the known facts of the 
case : for when he adds, " The diffusion of a critical 
spirit in History arid Literature is affecting the criti- 
cism of the Bible in our own day in a manner not un- 
like the burst of intellectual life in the fifteenth or 
sixteenth centuries* ;" (p. 340 ;) he clearly requires to 
be reminded that the success of the Divinity of the 
[Reformation was owing to the grand appeal then 
made to the Patristic writings. 

So far then as any of ourselves are resorting to those 
sources of information, there may be a faint resem- 
blance in kind between the spirit which animates us, 
and that which wrought so nobly in the Fathers of 
our spiritual freedom, Cranmer and Eidley and the 
other learned and holy men who revised our Offices. 
But if " German Commentators" and their method be 
supposed to be the ideals to which the age is tending, 
then the Theology of the middle of the nineteenth 
century stands in marked contrast to what prevailed 
in the middle of the sixteenth ; and our spirit is the 
very reverse of theirs. But I hasten on. 

(iii) " The uncertainty which prevails in the Inter- 
pretation of Scripture," Mr. Jowett proposes to get 
rid of, (this is in fact the aim of his entire Essay,) 

the sacred writings; he would have done some service. But this 
talk about ' excessive attention to the article,' and ' particles being 
often mere excrescences of style,' is of no effect except to expose the 
writer to ridicule. It sounds as if he had been accustomed to lay 
down the law to an admiring audience of ' clever young men,' and 
had forgotten that there were still 'men in Denmark* who under- 
stood Greek." Some Remarks on Essays and Reviews, prefixed to 
Dr. Moberly's 'Sermons on the Beatitudes.' (1861.) pp. Ixii.-iii. 


by denying that there are in Scripture any deeper 
meanings to interpret. In the meantime, by every 
device in his power, he seeks from a priori conside- 
rations, (as we have seen,) to shew that no such mean- 
ings can exist. We allow ourselves to be biassed, 
to a singular extent, he says, "by certain previous 
suppositions with which we come to the perusal of 
Scripture." (p. 342.) But for this, " no one would 
interpret Scripture as many do." (Ibid.) Let us as- 
certain then what these erroneous " suppositions" are. 

(a) " The failure of a prophecy is never admitted, 
in spite of Scripture and of history, (Jer. xxxvi. 30. 
Isaiah xxiii. Amos vii. 1017.)" (p. 343.) 

Now this can only mean two things : viz. first, 
that a Divine Prophecy is not an infallible utterance : 
and secondly, that the three places quoted from the 
Old Testament are proofs of the fallibility of Pro- 
phecy ; proofs which ought to overcome prejudice, 
and persuade men to renounce their "previous sup- 
position" that Prophecy is ^fallible. 

Certainly the charge is a grave one. For if Pro- 
pJiecy is untrue, then what becomes of Inspiration ? 

And yet, how stands the case ? The writer seems 
to have expected " that no one would refer to the pas- 
sages that he has bracketed, or that all would be too 
ignorant to know the utter groundlessness of his as- 
sumption. If there are, in the whole Scripture, two 
past prophecies which were signally and remarkably 
fulfilled, they are the first two which he has selected 
as instances to be dropped down, without a remark, 
of the failure of Scripture prophecies ! And as to the 
third passage, surely it implies an i incuria' which 
might be deemed ' crassa' to have asserted that it 
contained an instance of the non-fulfilment of Pro- 


phecy : for it implies that Mr. Jowett has read the 
verses to which he refers with so little attention as 
not to have discovered that the prediction which 
failed of its fulfilment was no utterance of Amos, but 
was the message of Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, in 
which he falsely attributes to Amos words he had not 
spoken ! . . . Surely such slips as these are as discredit- 
able to a scholar as a Divine* !" 

And this, from a gentleman who has the imper- 
tinence to remind us oracularly, that "he who would 
understand the nature of Prophecy in the Old Tes- 
tament, should have the courage to examine how far its 
details were minutety fulfilled !" (p. 347.) Are we then 
to infer that Mr. Jowett's courage failed him when he 
came to Amos vii. 10 17 ? 

(/3) " The mention of a name later than the sup- 
posed age of the prophet is not allowed, as in other 
writings, to be taken in evidence of the date. (Isaiah 
xlv. 1.)" (p. 343.) 

But what is the meaning of this complaint when 
applied to Isaiah's well known prophecy concerning 
Cyrus? In the words of the excellent critic last 
quoted, " We know not that we could point to such 
an instance as this in the writings of any other author 
of credit. Of course, Mr. Jowett knows as well as 
we do the distinction between History and Prophecy ; 
and that the mention in any document of the name 
of one who was unborn at the time fixed as the date 
of the writing, would be at once a complete disproof 
of its accuracy as a history of the past, and a proof 
of its accuracy as a prediction of the future. Of 
course he also remembers that the point he has to 
prove is that this passage is History and not Predic- 
* Quarterly Eeview, No. 217, p. 298. 


tion ; and his mode of proving is this ; he assumes 
that it is a history of the past, advancing as a charge 
against the believers of Bevelation, that they do not, 
(as they would in any other History,) reject the 
genuineness of the passage because it embalms a 
future name in a past history ! . . . This audacious, 
(for we cannot use a weaker word,) assumption of 
what he has to prove, pervades his Essay x ." 

And thus, into whatever department of speculation 
we follow this writer, the tortuous path is still found 
to conduct us back to the same underlying fallacious 
assumption, viz. that the Bible is like any other Boole ; 
in other words, is not inspired. 

(y) Persons in Mr. Jowett's position, " find them- 
selves met by a sort of presupposition that f GOD speaks 
not as Man speaks. 7 " (p. 343.) 

" A sort of presupposition," indeed ! . . . . Does the 
Eeverend gentleman really expect that we will stoop 
so low as argue this point also with him ? It shall 
suffice to have branded him with his own words. 

" The suspicion of Deism, or perhaps of Atheism, 
awaits inquiry. By such fears, a good man (!) refuses 
to be influenced : a philosophical mind (!) is apt to cast 
them aside with too much bitterness. It is better to 
close the book, than to read it under conditions of 
thought which are imposed from without." (p. 343.) 

Well surely, the proximity to Balliol College of the 
scene of Cranmer and Bidley's martyrdom, must have 
turned the brain of the Eegius Professor of Greek ! 
Let him be well assured however that not rational 
" Inquiry," but irrational assumption; not the modest 
cogitations of " a philosophical mind," but the arrogant 
dreams of a weak and confused intellect, are what have 
x Quarterly Review, No. 217, pp. 265-6. 


excited such general indignation of late, among "good 
men," from one end of the Kingdom to the other. 
Nor could anything probably of equal pretensions be 
readily appealed to, which is nevertheless more truly 
unphilosophical, fallacious, and foolish, than the Essay 
now under consideration. 

(iv) Subsequently, (p. 344,) Mr. Jowett professes 
to grapple with the phenomenon of Inspiration. His 
method is instructive. He begins by inadvertently 
advancing a direct untruth: for he asserts that for 
none " of the higher or supernatural views of Inspira- 
tion is there any foundation in the Gospels or Epi- 
stles." (p. 345.) Had he then forgotten St. Paul's 
statements in Gal. i. 1, 11 17 : ii. 2, 7 9. 1 Cor. 
xv. 3. Ephes. iii. 3, &c., &c. ? But I have esta- 
blished the contradictory of the Professor's position in 
the ensuing Sermons, p. 53 to p. 57, to which the 
reader must be referred. This done, he proceeds to 
assert that, . 

(a) Inspiration does not preserve a writer from 
inaccuracy. And the charge is substantiated by the 
following ridiculous enumeration : " One [Evan- 
gelist] supposes the original dwelling-place of our 
LORD'S Parents to have been Bethlehem 7 , another 
Nazareth 2 ." (This from a Lecturer on Divinity ! 
Does Mr. Jowett then suppose that his readers have 
never opened the Gospels, and do not know better ? 
Why, loth his statements are simply false!} " They 
trace His genealogy in different ways." (Yes. In 
two. And why not in twenty ? Is Mr. Jowett not 
aware that a genealogy may be differently traced 
through different ancestors?) " One mentions the 
thieves blaspheming : another has preserved to after 
y St. Matth. ii. 1, 22. St. Luke ii. 41. 


ages the record of the penitent thief:" (And why 
should he not ?) " They appear to differ about the 
day and hour of the Crucifixion." (Yes, they appear 
to differ: but they do not differ /) "The narrative 
of the woman who anointed our LORD'S feet with 
ointment is told in all four, each narrative having 
more or less considerable variations." (There is no 
conceivable reason why this should not have been 
as Mr. Jowett relates ; but, as a matter of fact, we 
have here another of this Gentleman's private blunders, 
shewing what an uncritical reader he must be, of 
that book concerning which he presumes to dogmatize 
so freely.) " These are a few instances of the differ- 
ences which arose in the traditions of the earliest ages 
respecting the history of our LORD." (Nay, but this 
is to beg the whole question !) " He who wishes 
to investigate the character of the sacred writings 
should not be afraid to make a catalogue of them all, 
with the view of estimating their cumulative weight." 
(p. 346.) (Truly, it would be well for Mr. Jowett if 
he had as little to fear from such " investigations" as 
the Evangelists !) 

" In the same way, he who would understand the 
nature of Prophecy in the Old Testament, should have 
the courage to examine how far its details were mi- 
nutely fulfilled. The absence of such a fulfilment may 
further lead him to discover that he took the letter for 
the spirit in expecting it." (p. 347.) But really this 
is again simply to beg the whole question. Unbe- 
coming in any writer, how absurd also is such a sen- 
tence from the pen of one who, (as we have lately 
seen,) no sooner descends to particulars than he makes 
himself ridiculous by betraying his own excessive 
ignorance. . . . "The letter for the spirit," also I which 


is one of the i cant' expressions of Mr. Jowett and his 
accomplices in l free handling,' based evidently on 
a misconception of the meaning of 2 Cor. iii. 6. The 
contrast recurs at pp. 36, 357, 375, 425, &e., &c. 

(/3) Still bent on shewing that Inspiration does not 
secure Scripture from blots and blemishes, Mr. Jowett 
proceeds as follows. (I must present him to the reader, 
for a short space, in extenso ; since by no other expe- 
dient can the complicated fallacies of his very intricate 
and perverse method be exposed.) 

" Inspiration is a fact which we infer from the 
study of Scripture, not of one portion only, but of 
the whole." (p. 347.) (Now even this is not a correct 
way of stating the case. Still, because the words may 
bear an honourable sense, we pass on.) " Obviously 
then, it embraces writings of very different kinds, 
the book of Esther, for example, or the Song of Solo- 
mon, as well as the Gospel of St. John." (That the 
volume of Inspiration is of this complex character, 
and that it embraces writings so diverse, is beyond 
dispute.) " It is reconcileable with the mixed good 
and evil of the characters of the Old Testament, which 
nevertheless does not exclude them from the favour 
of GOD." (Why the Inspiration of a writer should 
not be < reconcileable ' with any amount of wickedness 
in the persons about whom he writes, I am quite at 
a loss to perceive. Neither do I see why "the mixed 
good and evil " of certain " characters of the Old Tes- 
tament," (or of the New either,) should " exclude them 
from the favour of GOD." What else becomes of your 
hope, and mine, of Eternal Life?) "Inspiration is 
also reconcileable," (he proceeds,) " with the attri- 
bution to the Divine Being of actions at variance with 
that higher revelation which He has given of Himself in 


the Gospel" .(Is this meant as an insult to " the 
Divine Being ?" or simply as a slur on Eevelation ? 
Either way, we reject the charge with indignation a .) 
u It is not inconsistent with imperfect or opposite 
aspects of the Truth, as in the Book of Job or Eccle- 
siastes :" (Nothing which comes from GOD should be 
called " imperfect:" but why different aspects of the 
Truth should not be brought out, by different writers, 
as by St. Paul and by James, it is hard to see.) " With 
variations of fact in the Gospels, or the Books of Kings 
and Chronicles :" (We do not admit that Inspiration 
is consistent with " variations of fact ;" but with dif- 
ferent versions of the same incident, it is confessedly 
compatible.) " With inaccuracies of language in the 
Epistles of St. Paul." (With grammatical inelegancies, 
no doubt; but not with logical inaccuracies.') "For 
these are all found in Scripture :" (This statement, 
by the way, should have been substantiated by at 
least as many references as there are heads in the 
indictment,) " neither is there any reason why they 
should not be ; except a general impression that 
Scripture ought to have been written in a way dif- 
ferent from what it has." (Just as if Mankind for 1800 
years had been the victims of an a priori conception 
as to how Holy Scripture ought to have been written !) 
u A principle of progressive revelation admits them 
all ; and this is already contained in the words of our 
SAVIOUR, ' Moses because of the hardness of your 
hearts;' or even in the Old Testament, ' Henceforth 
there shall be no more this proverb in the house of 
Israel ?' " (0 if Catholic writers were to expound Holy 
Scripture with the license of these gentlemen ! . . . . 
That the scheme of Eevelation has been progressive, is 
* See Sermon YJL, pp. 222232. 


a Theological truism. What that has to do with the 
question in hand, I see not.) " For what is progres- 
sive is necessarily imperfect in its earlier stages :" 
(" Imperfect " in what sense?) "and even erring to 
those who come after." (No, not in that sense im- 
perfect, certainly !)..." There is no more reason why 
imperfect narratives should be excluded from Scripture 
than imperfect grammar ; no more ground for expect- 
ing that the New Testament would be logical or Aris- 
totelian in form, than that it would be w r ritten in 
Attic Greek." (Now why this cloudy shuffling about 
"imperfect narratives," instead of saying what you 
mean, like a man ! Further, Is Mr. Jowett so weak as 
not to perceive that there is no force whatever in his 
supposed parallel? The Discourses of the Incarnate 
SON, for instance, are certainly anything but " Aris- 
totelian in form." His dialect, (Angels bowed to 
catch it, I nothing doubt !) was that of the despised 
Galilee. But need the teaching it conveyed have there- 
fore been " imperfect ?" Why may not the least per- 
fect Greek be the vehicle for the more perfect Doctrine? 
What connexion is there between the casket and the 
jewel which it encloses ?) 

(7) The Eeverend writer promises us help, from 
" another consideration which has been neglected by 
writers on this subject." (The announcement makes 
us attentive.) "It is this, that any true Doctrine 
of Inspiration must conform to all well -ascertained 
facts of History or of Science." (We scarcely see the 
drift of this ill- worded proposition ; but are disposed 
to assent.) "The same fact cannot be true and un- 
true," (Who ever supposed that it could?) "any 
more than the same words can have two opposite 
meanings." (But why glide at once into a gross fal- 


sity ? Are there not plenty of words and speeches, 
of the kind called ' equivocal ' or ' ambiguous,' which 
are of this nature ? I am content to refer this writer 
to his own pages, for the abundant refutation of his 
own assertion. No man in the world knows better 
than Mr. Jowett that "the same words can have two 
opposite meanings") " The same fact cannot be true 
in Eeligion, when seen by the light of Faith; and 
untrue in Science, when looked at through the me- 
dium of evidence or experiment." (Why not ? For 
example, ' He maketh His Sun to rise.' ' If GOD so 
clothe the grass of the field.' l GOD said, Let there 
be light.' Who sees not that the view which Faith 
and which Physical Science respectively take of the 
same phenomenon, may essentially differ?) "It is 
ridiculous to suppose that the Sun goes round the 
Earth in the same sense in which the Earth goes 
round the Sun;" (Very ridiculous.) "or that the 
world appears to have existed, but has not existed, 
during the vast epochs of which Geology speaks to 
us." (Leave out the words, "appears to have," and 
this also is undeniable.) "But if so, there is no need 
of elaborate reconcilements of Eevelation and Science." 
(How does that follow ? If what is thought to be Di- 
vinely revealed, and what is thought to be scienti- 
fically ascertained, seem to be conflicting truths, 
why should not an effort be made to reconcile them ?) 
" They reconcile themselves the moment any scientific 
truth is distinctly ascertained." (Yes : by the Human 
simply trying to thrust the Divine out of doors !) 
" As the idea of Nature enlarges, the idea of Eeve- 
lation also enlarges :" (I deny that there is any such 
intimate connexion as this author supposes between 
Physical Science and Divinity,) "it was a temporary 


misunderstanding which severed them." (But when 
were Nature and Eevelation ever for an instant 
"severed?") "And as the knowledge of Nature 
which is possessed by the few is communicated in its 
leading features at least, to the many, they will re- 
ceive it with a higher conception of the ways of GOD 
to Man. It may hereafter appear as natural to the 
majority of Mankind to see the Providence of GOD in 
the order of the world, as it once was to appeal to in- 
terruptions of it." (p. 349.) (As if an increased know- 
ledge of Nature were the condition of Theological en- 
lightenment !....! presume that the latter clause, 
so hazy and the reverse of obvious in its meaning ! 
is intended to convey the sentiment which Mr. Baden 
Powell expresses as follows : " The inevitable pro- 
gress of research must, within a longer or shorter 
period, unravel all that seems most marvellous ; and 
what is at present least understood will become as 
familiarly known to the Science of the future, as those 
points which a few centuries ago were involved in 
equal obscurity, but now are thoroughly under- 
stood V) 

(&) We are next informed " that there are a class 
of scientific facts with which popular opinions on The- 
ology often conflict Such especially are the facts 

relating to the formation of the Earth and the begin- 
nings of the Human Kace." (p. 349.) (And pray, 
what "facts" are these, relative to the "beginnings 
of the Human Bace," which conflict with Scripture ?) 
.... "Almost all intelligent persons are agreed that 
the earth has existed for myriads of ages :" (Which is 
perfectly true.) " The best informed are of opinion 
that the history of nations extends back some thousand 
b Essays and Reviews, p. 109. 


years before the Mosaic Chronology.'' (Which is de- 
cidedly false.) " Eecent discoveries in Geology may 
perhaps open a further vista of existence for the hu- 
man species ; while it is possible, and may one day be 
known, that Mankind spread not from one but from 
many centres over the globe ; or, (as others say,) that 
the supply of links which are at present wanting in 
the chain of animal life may lead to new conclusions 
respecting the origin of Man." (A cool way, this, of 
anticipating that something which ^may] (or may 
not!} be discovered hereafter, will demonstrate that 
the beginning of the Bible is all a fable !) "Now," 
(proceeds our author,) "let it be granted that" " the 
proof of some of these facts, especially of those last- 
mentioned, is wanting ; still it is a false policy to set 
up Inspiration or Revelation in opposition to them, a 
principle which can have no influence on them, and 
should be kept rather out of their way." (Considerate 
man !) " The Sciences of Geology and comparative 
Philology are steadily gaining ground. Many of the 
guesses of twenty years ago have been certainties ; 
and the guesses of to-day may hereafter become so. 
Shall we peril Religion (!) on the possibility of their 
untruth ? on such a cast to stake the life of Man, im- 
plies not only a recklessness of facts (!), but a mis- 
understanding of the nature of the Gospel. If it is 
fortunate for Science, it is perhaps more fortunate for 
Christian Truth, that the admission of Galileo's dis- 
covery has for ever settled the principle of the rela- 
tions between them." (pp. 349-50.) .... 

Now, what a curious picture of a perverse and 
crooked mind does such a sentence exhibit ! Divine 
Revelation can " have no influence" of course, on facts 
of any kind, (including facts in Physical Science,) 


when once those facts have been well ascertained. 
But, in the entire absence of such facts, why should we 
refuse to listen to the well ascertained Revelation of 
GOD? Nothing is more emphatic, for example, than 
the Divine declaration that the whole Human family 
is derived from a single pair ; and the origin of Man 
is plainly set down in Genesis. Why then oppose to 
this, the confessedly undiscovered fact that " mankind 
spread from many centres ;" and the purely specula- 
tive possibility that, hereafter, a certain theory " may 
lead to new conclusions respecting the origin of Man ?" 
As for "Beligion" being " perilled on the possi- 
bility" of the truth or untruth of the Sciences of Geo- 
logy and comparative Philology; we really would 
submit that GOD may be safely left to take care of His 
own; and that "peril," there is, there can be, 
none ! 

And then, the maudlin tenderness of an " Essayist 
and Ke viewer" (of all persons in the world !) for "the 
life of Man" meaning thereby his Christian hope, 
and Faith in the EEDEEMER ! . . . As if, (first,) Man's 
"Life" were in any sense endangered, by our uphold- 
ing the honour and authority of the Bible ! And 
(secondly,) as if the age had shewn itself in the least 
degree impatient of scientific investigation ! And 
(thirdly,) as if Religion depended, or could be made 
to depend, on Physical phenomena, or on the progress 
of Natural Science, at all! . . . . I scruple not to say 
that arguments like these impress me with the mean- 
est opinion of Mr. Jowett's intellectual powers : while 
they prove to demonstration that he does not in the 
least understand the subject on which he yet writes 
with such feeble vehemence. 

But I may not proceed any further, or my pages 


will equal in extent those of the gentleman already 
named. Indeed, to follow that most confused of 
thinkers, and crooked of disputants, through all his 
perverse pages ; to expose his habitual paltry evasive 
dodging, rhis shifting equivocations, his misappli- 
cations of Scripture, his unworthy insinuations, 
his plaintive puerilities of thought and sentiment ; 
would require a thick volume. If Mr. Jowett does 
not deny the Personality of the HOLY GHOST, he 
ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself for pen- 
ning sentences which can lead to no other inference. 
For he ought to know that when men talk of words 
" receiving a more exact meaning than they will truly 
bear;" and of what "is spoken in a figure being con- 
strued with the severity of a logical statement, while 
passages of an opposite tenour are overlooked or set 
aside:" (p. 360.) men mean to repudiate the doctrine 
which those words are thought to convey; not to 
imply their acceptance of it. So again, if Mr. Jowett 
holds the doctrine of Original Sin, he ought to be 
heartily ashamed of himself for having insinuated that 
it depends " on two figurative expressions of /St. Paul 
to which there is no parallel in any other part of Scrip- 
ture" (p. 361.) Nor, however moderate his attain- 
ments as a teacher of Divinity, ought he to be capable 
of putting forth such a notorious misstatement as that 
the doctrine of Infant Baptism rests upon a verse in 
the Acts (xvi. 33,) which verse has really nothing 
whatever to do with the question*, (p. 360.) 

Professor Jowett shuts up his Essay with a passage 
which, for a certain amount of tender pathos in the 
sentiment, has been often quoted, and sometimes ad- 
mired. He says : 

c See Dr. Moberly, (as before,) p. Iv. Ix. 


"The suspicion or difficulty which attends critical 
inquiries is no reason for doubting their value. The 
Scripture nowhere leads us to suppose that the cir- 
cumstance of all men speaking well of us is any 
ground for supposing that we are acceptable in the 
sight of God. And there is no reason why the con- 
demnation of others should be witnessed to by our 
own conscience. Perhaps it may be true that, owing 
to the jealousy or fear of some, the reticence of others, 
the terrorism of a few, we may not always find it easy 
to regard these subjects with calmness and judgment. 
But, on the other hand, these accidental circumstances 
have nothing to do with the question at issue ; they 
cannot have the slightest influence on the meaning of 
words, or on the truth of facts. . . . 

" Lastly, there is some nobler idea of truth than is 
supplied by the opinion of mankind in general, or the 
voice of parties in a Church. Every one, whether a 
student of Theology or not, has need to make war 
against his prejudices no less than against his pas- 
sions ; and, in the religious teacher, the first is even 

more necessary than the last He who takes the 

prevailing opinions of Christians and decks them out 
in their gayest colours, who reflects the better mind 
of the world to itself is likely to be its favourite 
teacher. In that ministry of the Gospel, even when 
assuming forms repulsive to persons of education (!), 
no doubt the good is far greater than the error or harm. 
But there is also a deeper work which is not depen- 
dent on the opinions of men, in which many elements 
combine, some alien to Eeligion, or accidentally at 
variance with it. That work can hardly expect to 
win much popular favour, so far as it runs counter to 
the feelings of religious parties. But he who bears a 


part in it may feel a confidence, which no popular 
caresses or religious sympathy could inspire, that he 
has by a Divine help heen enabled to plant his foot 
somewhere beyond the waves of Time. He may depart 
hence before the natural term, worn out with intellec- 
tual toil; regarded with suspicion by many of his 
contemporaries ; yet not without a sure hope that the 
love of Truth, which men of saintly lives often seem 
to slight, is, nevertheless, accepted before GOD." 
(pp. 432-3.) 

My respect for a fellow-man induces me to offer 
a few remarks on all this. 

Let me be permitted then to declare that I am as 
incapable as any one who ever breathed the air of this 
lower world, of making light of the sentiments of true 
genius. I can respond with my whole heart to the 
passion-stricken cry of one who, when " regarded with 
suspicion by many of his contemporaries," is observed 
to hail his fellows with confidence, across the gulph of 
Time ; and as it were implore them, after many days, 
to do him right. Nay, were I to behold a man of 
splendid, but misguided powers, elaborating from GOD'S 
Word a plausible system of his own, whereby to bring 
back the Golden Age to suffering Humanity ; and in- 
sisting that he beheld in the common revelations of 
the SPIRIT, the unsuspected outlines of such a form 
of polity as Man never dreamed of, (nor, it may be, 
Angels either ;) I should experience a kind of gener- 
ous sympathy with this bright-eyed enthusiast; even 
while I proceeded to test his wild dream by what I 
believed to be the standard of right Eeason. Then, 
as the specious fabric was seen suddenly to collapse 
and melt away, should I not, with affectionate sorrow, 
secretly mourn that such brilliant parts had not been 


enlisted on the side of Truth ? and feel as if I could 
have been content to go about for life maimed in body, 
or hopelessly impoverished in estate, if so great a dis- 
aster could but have been prevented as the loss of one 
who ought to have been a standard-bearer in Israel ? 

Once more. Although the cold shade of unbelief 
has never for an instant, (thank GOD !) darkened my 
spirit ; so that one may not be very apt to sympathize 
with men who walk about hampered with a doubt; 
yet, were one to know, (as one has often known, too 
often, alas !) that the arrow was rankling in a friend's 
heart, who by consequence shunned the society of 
his fellows, and walked in moody abstraction, look- 
ing as if life had lost its charm, and as if nothing on 
the earth's surface were any longer to him a joy ; 
would one not be the first to go after such a sufferer ; 
and seek whether a firm hand and steady eye might 
not avail to extract the poisoned shaft ? If that might 
not be, at least by daily acts of unaltered kindness, 
and the ways which brotherly sympathy suggests, 
who would not strive to recover such an one? If 
all other arts proved unavailing, it would remain for 
a man with the ordinary instincts of humanity, in 
silence and sorrow at least, to look on, while the 
solitary doubter was paying the bitter penalty, 
doubtless, of his sin. 

But how widely different, rather, how utterly 
dissimilar, is the phenomenon before us! Here is 
a singularly confused and shallow thinker oppressed 
with the vastness of his discovery, that the Bible 
has nothing in it ! Here is a Clergyman of the Church 
of England, and a Lecturer in Divinity, whose diffi- 
culty is how he shall convince the world that the 
Bible is like any other look ! Here is the sceptical 



fellow of a College, conspiring with six others, to 
produce a volume of which Germany itself, (having 
changed its mind,) would already be ashamed ! . . . 
Mr. Jowett is enthusiastic for a negation I Without 
belief himself, he cannot rest because Christendom 
has, on the whole, a good deal of belief remaining ! 
If he may but unsettle somebody's mind, his Essay 
will have achieved its purpose, and its author will 
not have lived in vain ! . . . Sublime privilege for 
" the only man in the University of Oxford who" is 
said to " exercise a moral and spiritual influence at all 
corresponding to that which was once wielded by John 
Henry Newman d !" 

I shall be thought a very profane person, I dare 
say, by the friends and apologists of Mr. Jowett, if 
I avow that the passage with which he concludes his 
Essay, instead of sounding in my ears like the plain- 
tive death-song of departing Genius, sounds to me 
like nothing so much as the piteous whine of a school- 
boy who knows that he deserves chastisement, and 
perceives that he is about to experience his deserts. 
System, or Theory, the Eeverend Gentleman has none 
to propose. Yiews, except negative ones, Mr. Jowett 
is altogether guiltless of. Can anybody in his senses 
suppose that a man "has, by a Divine help (!)$ been 
enabled to plant his foot somewhere bet/ond the waves 
of Time," (p. 433,) who doubts everything, and be- 
lieves nothing? Can any one of sane mind dream 
that posterity will come to the rescue of a man who, 
when he is asked for his story, rejoins, (with a well- 
known needy mechanic,) that he has "none to tell, 
Sir?" What then is posterity to vindicate? What 
has the Eegius Professor of Greek written so many 
d Edinburgh Review, (April, 1861,) p. 476. 


weak pages to prove ? Just nothing ! If Mr. Jowett's 
Essay could enforce the message it carries, the result 
would simply be that the world would become dis- 
believers in the Inspiration of the Bible : they would 
^believe that Scripture has any sense but that which 
lies on the surface : they would therefore disbelieve 
the Prophets and Evangelists and Apostles of CHRIST : 
they would ^believe the words of our LORD JESUS 
CHRIST Himself! . . . Has Mr. Jowett, then, grown 
grey under the laborious process of arriving at this 
series of negations ? "When he anticipates u departing 
hence before the natural term," does he mean that he 
is " tvorn out with the intellectual toil" of propounding 
nothing ! and that he expects the sympathy and grati- 
tude of posterity for what he has propounded ? 

But this is not all. Instead of coming abroad, (if 
come abroad he must,) in that garb of humility which 
befits doubt, that self-distrust which becomes one 
whose fault, or whose misfortune it is, that he simply 
cannot believe, Mr. Jowett assumes throughout, the 
insolent air of intellectual superiority ; the tone of one 
at whose bidding Theology must absolutely ' keep 
moving.' A truncheon and a number on his collar, 
alone seem wanting. The menacing voice, and autho- 
ritative air, are certainly not away, as I proceed to 

" It may be observed that a change in some of the 
prevailing modes of Interpretation, is not so much 
a matter of expediency as of necessity. The original 
meaning of Scripture is beginning to be understood" 
(p. 418.) 

" Criticism has/r more power than it formerly had. 
It has spread itself over ancient, and even modern 
history. . . . Whether Scripture can be made an exception 

P 2 


to other ancient writings, now that the nature of both 
is more understood ; whether . . . the views of the last 
century will hold out, these are questions respecting 
which" (p. 420.) it is hard to judge. 

" It has to be considered whether the intellectual 
forms under which Christianity has been described, 
may not also be in a state of transition" (p. 420.) 

" Now, as the Interpretation of Scripture is receiving 
another character, it seems that distinctions of Theology 
which were in great measure based on old Interpre- 
tations, are beginning to fade away." . . . " There are 
other signs that times are changing, and we are 
changing too." (p. 421.) 

"These reflections bring us back to the question 
with which we began, What effect will the critical 
Interpretation of Scripture have on Theology?" (p. 422.) 

Again : " As the time has come when it is no 
longer possible to ignore the results of criticism, it is 
of importance that Christianity should be seen to be 
in harmony with them." (p. 374.) (The sentences 
which immediately follow shall be exhibited in distinct 
paragraphs, in order that they may separately enjoy 
admiration. Each is a gem or a curiosity in its way.) 

" That objections to some received views should be 
valid, and yet that they should be always held up as 
the objections of Infidels, is a mischief to the Christian 


"It is a mischief that critical observations which 
any intelligent man can make for himself (!), should 
be ascribed to Atheism or Unbelief." 

" It would be a strange and almost incredible thing 
that the Gospel, which at first made war only on the 
vices of mankind, should now be opposed to one of the 
highest and rarest of human virtues, the love of Truth" 


"And that in the present day the great object of 
Christianity should be, not to change the lives of men, 
but to prevent them from changing their opinions ; 
that would be a singular inversion of the purposes for 
which CHRIST came into the world." 

We are really constrained to pause for a moment, 
and to inquire what this last sentence means. Are 
not "the lives of men" mainly dependent on " their 
opinions ?" Why then contrast the two ? And which 
of our " opinions" does Mr. Jowett desire to see 
changed? Would he have us resign our belief in 
the Atonement ? reject the Divinity of CHRIST ? deny 
the Personality of the HOLY GHOST ? put the Bible on 
a level with Sophocles and Plato ? ridicule the idea of 
Inspiration ? . . . How would it be a " singular inversion 
of the purposes of CHRIST'S Coming," that Christianity 
should "prevent" mankind from "changing" such 
" opinions" as these ? 

" The Christian religion is in a false position when 
all the tendencies of knowledge are opposed to it^ (All 
the tendencies of knowledge, then, are opposed to the 
Christian Religion !) 

" Such a position cannot be long maintained, or can 
only end in the withdrawal of the educated classes 
from the influences of Eeligion." (So we are to look 
for " the withdrawal of the educated classes from the 
influences of Religion*!") 

e The Rev. H. B. "Wilson says, " If those who distinguish them- 
selves in Science and Literature cannot, in a scientific and literary 
age, be effectually and cordially attached to the Church of their 
nation, they must sooner or later be driven into a position of hos- 
tility to it." (p. 198.) This is one of the many notes, if not of 
"concert and comparison," at least of intense sympathy between 
the Essayists and Reviewers. 


After anticipating " religious dissolution," because 
of "the progress of ideas, (!) with which Christian 
teachers seem to be ill at ease," (!) Mr. Jowett, (who 
we presume is speaking of himself,) says, " Time was 
when the Gospel was before the Age :" (The Gospel is 
therefore now behind the age !) " when the difficulties 
of Christianity were difficulties of the heart only :" 
(When was that?) "and the highest minds found in 
its truths not only the rule of their lives, but a well- 
spring of intellectual delight." (All this then has 
ceased to be the case ! " The highest minds" being of 
course represented by Mr, Jowett !) 

" Is it to be held a thing impossible that the Chris- 
tian Eeligion, instead of shrinking into itself, (!) may 
again embrace the thoughts of men upon the earth?" 
(that is to say, " embrace the thoughts" of Mr. 
Jowett !) " Or is it true that since the Reformation 
6 all intellect has gone the other way ?'" 

" But for the faith that the Gospel might win again 
the minds of intellectual men" (such men as Mr. 
Jowett?) "it would be better to leave Religion to 
itself, instead of attempting to draw them together." 
(p. 376.) 

Now this kind of language, in daily life, would be 
called sheer impertinence ; and the person who could 
talk so before educated gentlemen would probably 
receive an intimation that he was making himself 
offensive. He would certainly be looked upon as 
a weak and conceited person. I really am unable to 
see why things should be written and printed which no 
one would presume to say ! . . . Encircled by a little 
atmosphere of fog of his own creating, Mr. Jowett is 
evidently under the delusion that his own confused 
vision and misty language are the result of the giddy 


eminence to which, (leaving his fellow -mortals far 
behind him,) he has contrived, all alone, to soar. 
He anticipates the complaint of some unhappy dis- 
ciple, that he " experiences a sort of shrinking or 
dizziness at the prospect which is opening before 
him :" whereupon Mr. Jowett invites the " highly edu- 
cated young man," (p. 373,) to consider " that he may 
possibly not be the person who is called upon to pursue 
such inquiries." Who are they /or, then? "No man 
should busy himself with them who has not clearness 
of mind enough to see things as they are." (p. 430.) 
The clearness of mind, for example, which belongs 
to Mr. Jowett ! 

True enough it is that had such airs been assumed 
by such an one as Eichard Hooker, who achieved the 
first four books of his ' Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity' 
before he was 40 ; and dying in his 46th year, proved 
himself to be the greatest genius of his age : had 
language like Mr. Jowett's been found on the lips of 
Joseph Butler, who when he was 44 produced his 
immortal < Analagy, 7 and at the age of 26 delivered 
his famous Eolls ' Sermons:' had Bishop Bull been 
betrayed into the language of self-complacency when, 
at the age of 35, he made himself famous by his ' Har- 
monia Apostolica :' the proceeding would have been 
intelligible, however much one might have lamented 
such an exhibition of weakness. . . . But when the 
speaker proves to be one of the very shallowest of 
thinkers, and most confused of reasoners; a man 
who, although grey-headed, has done nothing what- 
ever for Literature, sacred or profane ; nor indeed is 
known out of Oxford except for having been thought 
to deny the Doctrine of the Atonement; a man 
who dogmatizes in a Science of which he clearly does 


not know so much as the very alphabet; and pre- 
sumes to dispute about a Bible which he has evidently 
not read with the attention which is due even to a 
first-rate uninspired book ; then, one's displeasure 
and impatience assume the form of indignation and 
disgust. The Divine who, purposing to prove that 
Holy Scripture is in kind like any other book, does 
so by inveighing against those who .treat it differently ; 
and indeed, on every occasion, assumes as proved the 
thing he has to prove f : is obviously the very man 
to vaunt the privileges of the intellect. The student 
of the Bible who mistakes the utterance of a lying 
prophet for the language of Amos, and then boldly 
charges the lie upon the inspired author of a book of 
Canonical Scripture ; is of course a proper person to 
discuss the Prophetic Canon. The gentleman who 
flatters himself that he has been sweeping the house to 
find the pearl of great price, (p. 414,) is a very pretty 
person, truly, to lecture about the Gospel ! . . . I 
forbear reproaching Mr. Jowett with his invariable 
misapplications or misapprehensions of the meaning of 
Scripture : his false glosses, and truly preposterous 
specimens of exegesis g . I am content to take leave 
of him, while he is flattering himself that he has 
"found the pearl of great price, after sweeping the 
house ;" (p. 414 :) and under that melancholy delusion, 
I fear he must be left, holding the broom in his hands. 

On a review of these Seven Essays, few things strike 
one more forcibly than the utterly untenable ground 
occupied by their authors. They are " in a position 

f Quarterly Review, No. 217, p. 266. 

g See at pp. 351, 352, 357, 358, 361, 365, 367, 413, &c. 


in which it is impossible to remain. The theory of 
Mr. Jowett and his fellows is as false to philosophy 
as to the Church of England. More may be true, or 
less ; but to attempt to halt where they would stop is 
a simple absurdity h ." 

To exactness of method or System, their work 
can hardly pretend; and yet they have a system, 
which has only not been rounded into symmetry, by 
the singular circumstance that these seven writers 
" have written in entire independence of one another, 
and without concert or comparison." They avow a 
common purpose, however; for they "hope" that their 
joint labours " will be received as an attempt to illus- 
trate," (whatever that may mean,) " the advantage 
derivable to the cause of Eeligion and Moral Truth" 
from what they have here attempted ; and which they 
justly characterize as "free handling" Putting one- 
self in their position, it is easy to imagine the sorrow 
and concern, the horror rather, with which a good 
man, when the first edition of ' Essays and Keviews' 
made its appearance, would have discovered the kind 
of complicity into which he had been inadvertently 
betrayed ; and how eagerly he would have withdrawn 
from a literary partnership which had resulted so dis- 
astrously. At the end of nine large editions, how- 
ever, the corporate responsibility of each individual 
author has become fully established ; and besides the 
many proofs of sympathy between the several authors 
which these pages contain 1 , it is no longer doubtful 

h Quarterly Review, as before, p. 282. 

1 Take a few instances : Mr. Wilson and Mr. Jowett speak of the 
Gospels as more or less accurately embodying a common tradition, 
pp. 161 and 346. Dr. Temple and Mr. Jowett propose the heart 
and conscience, as the overruling principle, pp. 42-5, and 410: 


that the sentiments of the work are to be quoted with- 
out reference to the individual writers. It would be 
unfair to assume that not one of these seven men has 
had the manliness to avow that his own individual 
convictions are opposed to those of his fellows. We 
are compelled to regard their joint labours as one pro- 
duction. It is the corporate efficacy of the several con- 
tributions which constitutes the chief criminality of 
the volume. It is to the respectability and weight of 
the conjoined names of its authors, and to their combined 
efforts, that ' Essays and Eeviews' are indebted for all 
their power. 

What then is the system, or theory, or view, advo- 
cated by these seven Authors ? They are all agreed 
that we are "placed evidently at an epoch when 

and insist that the Bible is " a Spirit, not a Letter," pp. 36 and 357, 
375, 425. Dr. Temple and Dr. Williams regard the Bible as the 
voice of conscience, pp. 45 and 78 : look fur a verifying faculty in 
the individual, pp. 45 and 83 : dwell on the " interpolations" in 
Scripture, pp. 47 and 78. Mr. Wilson and Mr. Jowett insist on 
the meaning which Scripture had to those who first heard it, as its 
true meaning, pp. 219, 223, 230/232, and 338, 378 : on the neces- 
sity of reconciling Intellectual men to Scripture, pp. 198 and 374. 
Professor Powell and Mr. Jowett are of one mind as to Miracles, 
pp. 109 and 349. Dr. Temple and Mr. Jowett delight in the same 
image of the Colossal Man, pp. 1 49 and 331, 387, 422. Dr. 
Williams and Mr. Jowett coincide in their estimate of the German 
Commentators, pp. 67 and 340. Dr. Temple and Dr. Williams are 
of one mind as to the past training of our Kace, pp. 1 49, and 51. 
They are generally agreed as to the untrustworthiness of Genesis, 
and of the Scripture generally, the hopeless contradictions between 
the Evangelists, &c., &c. They hold the same language about our 
having outlived the Faith, (' Traditional Christianity,' as it is 
called ;) the impossibility of freedom of thought ; the necessity of 
providing some new Religious system ; the effete nature of Creeds 
and formularies of Belief; the advance in Natural Science as likely 
to prove fatal to Theology, &c., &c. 


Humanity finds itself under new conditions, to form 
some definite conception to ourselves of the way in 
which Christianity is henceforward to act upon the 
world which is our own." (p. 158.) To do this, we 
must emerge from our " narrow chamber of Doctrinal 
and Ecclesiastical prepossessions." (Ibid.) Accord- 
ingly, we find insinuated " a very wide-spread aliena- 
tion, both in educated and uneducated persons, from 
the Christianity which is ordinarily presented in our 
Churches and Chapels." (p. 150.) There has been 
"a spontaneous recoil." (p. 151.) We cannot " resist 
the tide of civilization on which we are borne." (p. 
412.) " The time has come when it is no longer pos- 
sible to ignore the results of criticism." It is there- 
fore " of importance that Christianity should be seen 
to be in harmony with them." (p. 374.) " The argu- 
ments of our genuine critics, with the convictions of 
our most learned clergy" (p. 66) are all opposed to 
the actual teaching of the Church. Meantime, " the 
Christian Eeligion is in a false position when all the 
tendencies of knowledge are opposed to it." (p. 374.) 
" Time was when the Gospel was before the age : . . . 
when the highest minds found in its truths not only 
the rule of their lives, but a well-spring of intellectual 
delight. Is it to be held a thing impossible that the 
Christian Eeligion may again embrace the thoughts 
of men upon the earth?" (pp. 374-5.) 

In the mean time, THE BIBLE is a stubborn fact in 
the way of the new Eeligion. Nay, the English Book 
of Common Prayer is a great hindrance; for those 
" formulae of past thinkings, have long lost all sense of 
any kind;" (p. 297 ;) so that the Prayer-book " is on 
the way to become a useless encumbrance, the rubbish 
of the past, blocking the road." (Ibid.) But the 


Prayer-book confessedly stands on a different footing 
from the Bible. The Bible erects itself hopelessly in the 
way of " the negative religion." (p. 151.) those many 
prophecies, which for 4000 long years sustained the 
faith of GOB'S chosen people, and at last found fulfilment 
in the person of CHRIST, or in the circumstances which 
attended the establishment of His Kingdom ! that 
glorious retinue of types and shadows which heralded 
MESSIAH'S approach ! . . . And then, the miraculous 
evidence which attested to the reality of His Divinity k ! 
the confirmation, (to those who needed it,) when He 
walked the water, and stilled the storm, and cast out 
devils by His word, and by one strong cry broke the 
gates of Death, and caused Lazarus to " Come forth !" 
. . . O the solemn independent testimony borne by 
Creeds, from the very birthday of Christianity, 
(whether planted in Syria or in Asia Minor, in Africa 
or in Italy, in Greece or in Gaul ; "in Germany or in 
Spain, among the Celts or in the far East, in Egypt 
or in Libya, or in the middle regions of the globe 1 .") 
Lastly, the adoring voice of the whole Church 
Catholic throughout the world, for many a succeeding 
century, translating, expounding, defining, explain- 
ing, defending to the death ! . . . How shall all this 
formidable mass of evidence possibly be set aside ? 

It is plain that Prophecy must be evacuated of its 
meaning ; or rather, must be denied entirely : and to 
do this, falls to the share of the vulgar and violent 
Vice-Principal of Lampeter College. Disprove he 
cannot; so he sneers and rails and blusters instead. 
Prophecy, he calls'" omniscience;" " a notion of fore- 

k See St. John iii. 2 : v. 36 : x. 25, 37-8 : xiv. 11 : xv. 24 : St. 
Luke vii. 20-22, &c., &c. 

1 Creed of Lyons, A.D. 180; see above, p. clxxx., note. 


sight by vision of particulars;" (p. 70;) "a kind of 
clairvoyance," (p. 70,) and " literal prognostication." 
(p. 65.) Mr. Jowett (as we have lately seen m ,) lends 
plaintive help : but indeed Dr. Williams does not lack 

To deny the truth of Miracles falls to the lot of 
the Savilian Professor of Astronomy. His method 
has the merit of extreme simplicity : for it is based 
on the ground that, in the writer's opinion, Miracles 
are impossible, which of course must be held to be 
decisive of the question. 

The battle against the Inspiration of the Word of 
GOD is reserved for the Eegius Professor of Greek ; 
who requires for his purpose twice the space of any 
of his fellows. His method is also -of the simplest 
kind, when divested of its many encumbrances. He 
simply assumes it as proved that the Bible is a book 
not essentially different from Sophocles and Plato. 
In other words he assumes that the Bible is not in- 
spired ; and reproaches, pities, or sneers at every one 
who is not of his opinion. 

In the meantime, What is Prophecy ? What are 
Miracles ? Of what sort is that Bible which has im- 
posed upon mankind so grossly, and so long ? They 
are facts, and must be explained. What are they ? 
Prophecy, then, is " only the power of seeing the ideal 
in the actual, or of tracing the Divine Government 
in the movements of men." (p. 70.) As for Miracles, 
" their evidential force is wholly relative to the ap- 
prehensions of the parties addressed. . . . Columbus' 
prediction of the Eclipse to the native islanders," (p. 
115,) is advanced as an illustration of the nature of 
the argument from Miracles. By whatever method 

m pp. cxciv.-v. 


the Bible has attained its present footing in the world, 
it is a book which has been hitherto misunderstood ; 
and it must plainly be dealt with after a new fashion. 
Our Lord's Incarnation, Temptation, Death and Burial, 
Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven, all His 
Miracles, in short, will be best interpreted Ideologi- 
cally ; in other words, by a principle " which resolves 
into an ideal the whole of the historical and doctrinal 
person of JESUS." (p. 200.) So interpreted, " the 
Gospel may win again the minds of intellectual men ;" 
(p. 376 ;) but it will find it no easy matter. There is 
in fact " a higher wisdom" than the Gospel, " which 
is known to those who are perfect," " that reconcile- 
ment," namely, " of Faith and Knowledge which may 
be termed Christian Philosophy." (p. 413.) 

The great object, in short, is to bring about " a re- 
conciliation" (p. 375,) between " the minds of in- 
tellectual men" (p. 376,) and Christianity. Such a 
reconciliation is to be regarded as a " restoration 
of belief." (p. 375.) And it is to be effected by 
" taking away some of the external supports, because 
they are not needed and do harm : also because they 
interfere with the meaning." (p. 375.) Those " ex- 
ternal supports" are (1) a belief in the Inspiration of 
the Bible; (2) the writings of the Fathers and 
Doctors of the Church ; (3) Creeds and the decisions 
of Councils; (4) the works of Anglican Divines; 
(5) Learning ; (p. 337 ;) (6) a profound acquaintance 
with the Greek language ; (p. 393 ;) (7) a minute 
knowledge of Greek Grammar ; (p. 391 ;) (8) the 
Doctrine of the Greek Article; (9) the free use of 
the parallel passages. . . . The Bible, when interpreted 
by any self-relying young man who knows a little 
Greek, and attends to the meaning of 'words , will be 


seen in all the freshness of its early beauty, like an 
old picture which has been recently cleaned. " A 
new interest" will be excited by this new Bible, 
which will " make for itself a new kind of authority." 
By being thus literally interpreted, it will be trans- 
formed into a a spirit." Then, (but not before) the 
Bible will enjoy the sublime satisfaction of keeping 
pace with the Age. It may so, even yet, " embrace 
the thoughts of men upon the earth." 

But what kind of thing will this Bible be ? The 
beginning of Genesis, (pp. 207 253,) is to be rejected 
because it "is not an authentic utterance of Divine 
knowledge, but a human utterance, which it has 
pleased Providence to use in a special way for the 
education of mankind." (p. 253.) We are invited to 
" a frank recognition of the erroneous views of Nature 
which the Bible contains." (p. 211.) Thus, all mira- 
culous transactions will have to be explained away. 
The volume of Prophecy will have to be regarded as 
a volume of History. The very History will have to 
be read with distrust. Like other records, it is sub- 
ject to the conditions of " knowledge which existed in 
an early stage of the world." (p. 411.) It does not 
even begin to be authentic, until B.C. 1900 ; or rather, 
until B.C. 900 n . What remains is to be looked upon 
as " the continuous witness in all ages of the higher 
things in the heart of man," (p. 375,) (whatever 
that may happen to mean.) The Gospel is to be 
looked upon as " a life of CHRIST in the soul, instead 
of a theory of CHRIST which is in a book, or written 
down," (p. 423.) "The lessons of Scripture, when 
disengaged from theological formulas, have a nearer 
way to the hearts of the poor." (p. 424.) Even "in 
n See pp. 57 and 170. 


Missions to the heathen, Scripture is to be treated as 
the expression of universal truths, rather than of the 
tenets of particular men and Churches." (p. 423.) It 
is anticipated that this " would remove many ob- 
stacles to the reception of Christianity." (Ibid.) " It 
is not the Book of Scripture which we should seek to 
give the heathen ;" " but the truth of the Book ; the 
mind of CHRIST and His Apostles, in which all lesser 
details and differences should be lost and absorbed ;" 
"the purer light or element of Eeligion, of which 
Christianity is the expression." (p. 427.) .... Such is 
the ghostly phantom, by the aid of which the Heathen 
are to become evangelized ! 

But this historical Bible is not to be regarded as 
the rule of a man's life, or indeed as an external Law 
at all. (pp. 36, 45.) "We walk now by Eeason and 
Conscience alone?'* (p. 21.) The Bible is to be identi- 
fied "with the voice of Conscience," (p. 45,) which 
it has " to evoke, not to override." (p. 44.) " The prin- 
ciple of private judgment . . . makes Conscience the 
supreme interpreter." (p. 45.) Ours is " a law which 
is not imposed upon us by another power ', but by our own 
enlightened will:" (p. 35:) for the "Spirit, or Con- 
science" " legislates" henceforth " without appeal ex- 
cept to himself." (p. 31.) 

Having thus disposed of " Traditional Chris- 
tianity," (p. 156,) it is not obscurely hinted that 
something quite different is to be substituted in its 
place. And first, next to " a frank appeal to Eeason, 
and a frank criticism of Scripture," (p. 174,) the 
nature and " office of the Church is to be properly 
understood." (p. 194.) 

The Church then is a spontaneous development of 
the State, as "part of its own organization," (p. 195,) 


purely secular Institution. The:' State will " de- 
velop itself into a Church" by " throwing its elements, 
or the best of them, into another mould; and con- 
stituting out of them a Society, which is in it, though 
in some sense not of it (?), which is another (?), yet 
the same." (p. 194.) The nation must provide, from 
time to time, that the teaching of one age does " not 
traditionally harden, so as to become an exclusive 
barrier in a subsequent one ; and so the moral growth 
of those who are committed to the hands of the 
Church be checked." (Ibid.} The Church is founded, 
therefore, not upon " the possession of a supernaturally 
communicated speculation (!) concerning GOD," but 
" upon the manifestation of a Divine Life in Man" 
" Speculative doctrines should be left to philosophical 
schools. A national Church must be concerned with 
the ethical development of its members." (p. 195.) It 
should be " free from dogmatic tests, and similar in- 
tellectual bondage;" (p. 168;) hampered by no Doc- 
trines, pledged to no Creeds. These may be retained 
indeed; but " we refuse to be bound by them" (p. 44.) 
The Subscription of the Clergy to the Articles should 
also be abolished: for "no promise can reach fluc- 
tuations of opinion, and personal conviction." (! ! !) 
Open heretical teaching may, to be sure, be dealt 
with by the Law; but the Law " should not require 
any act which appears to signify ' I think. 7 " (p. 189.) 
Witness " the reluctance of the stronger minds to 
enter an Order in which their intellects may not have 
free play." (p. 190.) . . . Such then is the Negative Ee- 
ligion ! Such is the new faith which Doctors Temple 
and Williams, Professors Powell and Jowett, Messieurs 
Wilson, Goodwin, and Pattison, have deliberately 
combined to offer to the acceptance of the World ! 


It is high time to conclude. I cannot lay down 
my pen however until I have re-echoed the sentiments 
of one with whom I heartily agree. I allude to Dr. 
Moberly ; who professes that he is " struck almost 
more with what seems to him the hardheartedness, 
and exceeding unkindness of this book, than with its 
unsoundness. Have the writers," (he asks,) " con- 
sidered how far the suggesting of innumerable doubts, 
doubts unargued and unproved, will check honest 
devotion, and embolden timid sin ? For whom do they 
intend this book ? Is it written for the mass of 
general readers ? Is' it designed for students at the 
Universities ? Do they suppose that this multitude 
of random suggestions will be carefully wrought out 
by these readers, and be rejected if unsound ; so as to 
leave their faith and devotion untarnished ? . . . Have 
they reflected how many souls for whom CHRIST died 
may be slain in their weakness by their self-styled 
strength ?" 

" Suppose, for a moment, that the Holy Scriptures 
are (p. 177,) the Word of the Spirit of GOD, that 
the Miracles, (cf. p. 109,) including the Resurrection 
of CHRIST, are actual objective facts, which have really 
happened, that the Doctrines of the Church are true, 
(p. 195,) and the Creeds (p. 355,) the authoritative 
expositions of them, and that men are to reach Salva- 
tion through faith in CHRIST, Virgin-born, according 
to the Scriptures, and making atonement (cf. p. 87,) 
for their sins upon the Cross. Ox THIS SUPPOSITION, 
Is not the publication of this book an act of real hos- 
tility to Govs Truth ; and one winch endangers the Faith 
and Salvation of Men ? And is this hostility less real, 
or the danger diminished, because the writers are, all 
but one, Clergymen, some of them Tutors and School- 


masters ; because they wear the dress, and use tho 
language of friends, and threaten us with bitter oppo- 
sition if we do not regard them as such" ?" 

With this I lay down my pen. My last words 
shall be simple and affectionate, addressed solely to 

I trace these concluding lines, (of a work w T hich, 
but for you, would never have been undertaken,) in 
a quite empty College ; and in the room where we 
have so often and so happily met on Sunday evenings. 
Can you wonder if, at the conclusion of what has 
proved rather a heavy task, (so hateful to me is con- 
troversy,) my thoughts revert with affectionate soli- 
citude to yourselves, already scattered in all direc- 
tions; and to those evenings which more, I think, 
than any other thing, have gilded my College life? 
... In thus sending you a written farewell, and pray- 
ing from my soul that GOD may bless and keep you 
all, I cannot suppress the earnest entreaty that you 
would remember the best words of counsel which may 
have at any time fallen from my lips : that you would 
persevere in the daily study of the pure Book of Life ; 
and that you would read it, not as feeling yourselves 
called upon to sit in judgment on its adorable con- 
tents ; but rather, as men who are permitted to draw 
near ; and invited to listen, and to learn, and to live* 
And so farewell ! . . . " Watch ye, stand fast in the 
Faith," nay, take it in the original, which is far 
better: TprjyoptiTe, or^/eere eV rrj TT/OTCI, avSpi- 

n Some Remark*) fyc., pp. xxiii. xxv. 


, Kparaiovo-Oe. irdvra V/JLCOV ev dyaTrr) yiviarQw. 
*H \OLpts TOV Kvplov 'Irjcrov \PLOTTOV fjieff VJJLCOV. rj 

dydirr) /mov perd jrdvrwv V/JLCOV. 


Your friend, 

J. W. B. 

June 22nd, 1861. 



(For a detailed account of the Contents of these Sermons, the Reader 
is referred to the beginning of the Volume?) 






MODATION CONSIDERED , ,,,,... p. 183 

VINDICATED ,.,,*, p. 221 








DOMINE DEUS metis, . . . sint castae deliciae meee ScriptureB Tuae. 
Nee fallar in eis, nee fallam ex eis.- AUGUSTINUS, Confessiones, 
lib, xi. c. ii. 3. 

The Book of this Law we are neither able nor worthy to look 
into. That little thereof which we darkly apprehend we admire : 
the re3t with religious ignorance we humbly and meekly adore. 
HOOKER, EccL Pol., B. i. ch. ii. 5, 



ST. JOHN vi. 68. 

LORD, to idiom shall we (jo ? Thou hast the words of Eternal 


TT was probably in that synagogue which the faithful 
-*- Centurion built at Capernaum b that our SAVIOUR 
had been discoursing. At the end of His discourse, 
it is related that "many of His Disciples went back, 
and walked no more with Him." Thereupon, He 
asked the Twelve, "Will ye also go away?" the very 
form of His inquiry (M?) KOL tyzets') implying the an- 
swer which the Divine Speaker expected and desired. 
And to this challenge of Love to Faith, St. Peter 
replied, not only on behalf of his fellow- Apostles, but 
on behalf of all faithful men to the end of time: 
"LORD, to ^vhom shall we go? Thou hast the words 
of Eternal Life !" 

You perceive that St. Peter's confession takes a pe- 
culiar form, resting the impossibility of unfaithful- 
ness in the Apostles on the gracious discourse of Him 
to whom they had been listening. "A hard saying," 
and unpalatable, it had proved to many; but to his 
own taste it had seemed " sweeter than honey and the 

a Preached in Christ-Church Cathedral, Oct. 21st, 1860. 
b rr)v crvitaywyr)!/, from which it would appear that there was 
but one. See Bishop Micldleton on St. Luke vii. 5. 



honeycomb." So that while, to those others, it had been 
an occasion of going back, and walking with CHRIST 
no more, to himself it had been a reason why he 
could never, as he felt, be persuaded to forsake CHRIST. 
Nay, it was to himself, (and, as he boldly assumed, 
to his fellow- Apostles, ) a sufficient evidence that the 
Speaker was none other than the SON of GOD. " And 
we believe, and are sure, that Thou art the CHRIST, 
the SON of the living GOD !" 

Here then, surely, a very solemn picture is set 
before us. The same message proves, in the case of 
some, the savour of death unto death : in the case 
of others, of life unto life. It is an image of what 
is still taking place in the world. The Gospel, whe- 
ther veiled in the Old Testament, or unveiled in the 
New, is confessedly "a hard saying:" >to some, their 
very crown and joy; to others, only an occasion of 
distress and downfall. It was so, when proclaimed 
not by the tongue of men and of angels, but by the 
lips " full of grace and truth " of the Incarnate WORD 
Himself : and it is so still. The temper of mankind 
is still the same as it was of old, and the instrument 
of man's trial is still the same. 

Of the written Gospel, many of the self-same things 
are said in Scripture which ar^said of Him by whom 
that Gospel was preached. Thus, it is proclaimed 
to be "the power of GOD to salvation ." It is de- 
scribed as "a discerner of the thoughts and intents 
of the heart d ." It is declared to be eternal, a thing 
which " shall never pass away e ." " In the last day," 
it is prophesied that the words which CHRIST has 
spoken "shall judge" men f . The very Name by 

' Bom. i. 16. d Heb. iv. 12. St. Matth. xxiv. 35, &c. 

f St. John xii. 48. 


which. St. John designates the Eternal SON, in the 
forefront of his Gospel g , is the appellation by which 
the Gospel is emphatically known. But even more 
remarkable are the analogies which subsist between 
the written record of our LORD'S Life and Teaching, 
and the actual person of our LORD. And proposing, 
as I now do, to say a few earnest words to the younger 
men in recommendation of a more punctual, metho- 
dical, as well as attentive study of the Bible, than, 
I am persuaded, is practised by one young man in 
a thousand, it may not prove unavailing in awaken- 
ing attention, if I advert, in passing, to some of the 
circumstances whereby an even balance, (so to speak,) 
is established between the opportunities of the men 
of this generation, and of those who were blessed with 
the oral teaching of the Son of Man. 

1. Thus, if the record has its difficulties, and its 
seeming contradictions, so had He. It did not appear 
that "JESUS of Nazareth" was born, (according to the 
prophet Micah's prediction,) at Bethlehem*. His title 
perplexed even Nathanael 1 . He was called the son 
of Joseph, even by the Blessed Virgin^. How then 
could He be the SON of GOD ? And how was the 
famous prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled in Him 1 ? He 
grew up in a lowly estate. Once He is called " the 
carpenter m ." How then could He be of the Eoyal 
House of David? And so, in many other respects, 
did He, in His own person, present the self-same class 
of difficulties to the world's eye which His Gospel 
presents to ours: "the sixteenth of Tiberius," the 
two genealogies, " Cyrenius," " the days of Abia- 
thar," " Jeremy the prophet," and so on. 

* St. John i. 1, &c. b Ibid. vii. 4043. l Ibid. i. 45, 46. 
k St. Luke ii. 48. l Is. vii. 14. ro St. Mark vi. 3. 



2. Somewhat less, obvious, but not less true, is the 
unattractive aspect, at first sight, of the Gospel. 
Yerily there is, until we become intimately acquainted 
with it, "no beauty that we should desire" it. The 
style, (full of interest, to those who have tried to 
understand it a little,) is not, I suppose, what critics 
would call altogether a good style. The Greek is not 
what learned men call pure. Many a word, (brimfull 
of meaning to those who will give to the words of the 
Gospel their best care,) reminds one, that neither did 
He speak what, in the capital of Jewry, was accounted 
a classical idiom. He employed the accent of the 
despised Galilee. The very reasoning, (until you 
give it your heart's homage and best attention,) often 
seems to be either inconsequential, or to contain a fal- 
lacy. Certain words of our LORD have been even cited 
as fallacious by a celebrated Divine whose writings 
we are all familiar with n . Now, His words were dis- 
regarded, cavilled at, made light of, in just the same 

3. Most surprising of all is the analogy observable 
between the union of the Divine and the human 
element in the Gospels, and the strictly parallel 
union, as it seems, of the two natures, the Divine 
and the Human, in the person of our LORD. As He 
was perfect and faultless, so do we deem it infallible 
also, without spot or blemish of any kind. "We reject 
as monstrous any ' theory of Inspiration, 7 (as it is 
called,) which imputes blunders to the work of the 
HOLY GHOST. As, further, we claim for our LORD'S 
recorded human actions mysterious significancy, so do 
we seem warranted in looking for a mysterious pur- 

n Our LORD'S words in St. John viii. 47 are so cited by Archbishop 
"Whately in the Appendix of his Logic. (App. II. No. 12, p. 418.) 


pose, a divine meaning, in every expression of the 
written Word. Lastly, although we may, nay we 
must, admit such a Divine and such a human element, 
we must altogether deny the possibility of separating 
the one from the other. "We cannot separate Scripture 
into human and Divine. Like the Incarnate WORD, 
the Gospel is at once both human and Divine, yet one 
and indivisible. And the method of its inspiration is 
as great a difficulty in its way, and as much beyond 
our ken, as the nature of the union of the Godhead 
and the Manhood in the one person of CHRIST. 

For whatever reason, and whether you please to 
accept the foregoing remarks or not, it is a plain fact 
that the Gospel is now in the world, fulfilling the 
same office towards mankind, which our Saviour 
CHRIST Himself fulfilled, and experiencing the same 
treatment at the hands of men in return. It is leaven- 
ing society indeed, and remodelling the world, even 
while it is practically overlooked by politicians or 
experiencing evil treatment from them. It wins its 
way silently and secretly, yet surely; and it works 
miracles here and there. Moreover, it divides opi- 
nion; separating, as it will for ever separate, the 
light from the darkness . It is slighted, and over- 
looked, and neglected by some ; even while, by others, 
it is embraced with joy unspeakable. c The humble 
and meek ' adore it ; even while, by the proud and 
rebellious, it is after a most strange fashion cavilled 
at, called in question, and denied. We specify the 
Gospel, instinctively, as that part of the Inspired 
Word which chiefly concerns ourselves, as Christian 
men; but the entire deposit shares the same fate. 
I do not think I am delivering a paradox when I say 

Consider all such places as St. John xi. 45, 46. 


that the Bible is generally very little read. That the 
amount of study commonly bestowed upon it bears 
no proportion whatever to its transcendent importance 
and paramount value, shall not be any paradox at 
all; but a mere truism. 

For I entreat you to consider, (trite and obvious 
as it may sound,) What have we, in the whole wide 
world, which may be put in competition with that 
Book which contains GOD'S revelation of Himself to 
man ? In its early portions, how does it go back to 
the very birthday of Time, and discourse of things 
which were done in the grey of that early morning ! 
How mysterious is the record, so methodical, so par- 
ticular, so unique ; preserving the very words which 
were syllabled in Paradise, and describing transactions 
which no one but the HOLY GHOST is competent to 
declare ! Come lower down, and where will you find 
more beautiful narratives, still fresh at the end 
of three and four thousand years, than those stories 
of Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, which wrap up divinest 
teaching in all their ordinary details: where every 
word is weighed in a heavenly balance, fraught with 
a divine purpose, and intended for some glorious 
issue : where the very characters are adumbrations 
of personages far greater than themselves ; and where 
the course of events is made to preach to us, at this 
distant day, of the things which concern our peace ! 
Is it a light thing again to know in what terms 
Isaiah, and the rest of " the goodly fellowship," when 
they opened their lips to speak in that remote age, 
foretold of the coming of the Son of Man ? . . . But all 
seems to grow pale before the Everlasting Gospel, and 
the other writings of the New Testament. Surely we 
have become too familiar with the providence which 


has preserved to us the very words of the four Evan- 
gelists, if we can bend our thoughts in the direction 
of the Gospel without a throb of joy and wonder not 
to be described, at having so great a treasure placed 
within our easy reach. Can it indeed be, that I may 
listen while the disciple whom JESUS loved is dis- 
coursing of the miracles, and recalling the sayings of 
his LORD ? May I hear St. Peter himself address the 
early Church, or know the precise words of the 
message which St. Jude sent to the first believers, 
or be shown the Epistle which the LORD'S cousin 
addressed "to the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad"? 
How does it happen that the Book is not for ever 
in our hands which comes to us with such claims to 
our undivided homage ? 

But, on the contrary, it has become the fashion in 
certain quarters, on every imaginable pretext, to* call 
in question the credibility of the Bible. It seems to 
be the taste of the age to invent hazy difficulties and 
dim objections to its statements. Inspiration, under 
a miserable attempt to explain it, is openly explained 
away. And the theory, however crude and pre- 
posterous, is tolerated : at least it escapes castigation. 
It cannot fail but that the unlearned and thoughtless 
ones of this generation will be growing up in a notion 
that these are open questions after all, and that 
" Truth" is but a name, not a thing worth contend- 
ing, aye dying for, if need be ! The reason is but too 
obvious. It must be, partly, because we do not in 
reality prize the deposit nearly so much as we sup- 
pose. Partly, because of the indifferentism which is 
everywhere so prevalent. Partly too because, not- 
withstanding our intellectual activity, we are not 
a really learned body. And partly, it must be con,- 


fessed, the reason is, because Theology has become so 
nearly a prostrate study with us, and because men 
really able to do battle for the Truth are somewhat 
hard to find. Nor is there any reasonable prospect 
of improvement either ; for those who go forth from 
this place into the Ministry, go with such slender 
preparation, that it would be truer to say that they 
go with none at all. 

Now, it would be a mere waste of time, to inveigh 
for half an hour against the indifferentism, or the 
spurious liberality, of the age : and it would be a 
most unbecoming proceeding, (not to say a highly 
distasteful one,) from this place to be suggesting 
remedies for an evil which already lies very near the 
heart of every serious man among us; and which, 
if discussed at all, must be discussed elsewhere. To 
say the truth, while the neglect of Theology, and the 
low ebb of Theological attainments in our Clergy, 
is generally recognized, the remedy for the evil is by 
no means so clear. From this subject, then, I pass 
at once : and I shall content myself with the far 
humbler task, of urging upon the younger men pre- 
sent, those especially who are destined for the Mi- 
nistry, one act of preparation, one duty, about which, 
at all events, there cannot be any difference of opinion : 
I mean the duty of applying themselves, now, to the 
patient study of the Bible. 

The thing is soon said ; but the hint requires ex- 
panding a little, in order that it may become of any 
practical use. By the " study of the Bible," I do not 
mean a chapter occasionally read with care : nor even 
a chapter regularly conned over at night ; when a 
convivial meeting has blunted the edge of observation, 
or severe study has exhausted the powers of the brain. 


The devotional use of a portion of Holy Scripture is 
quite a distinct affair. Still less would the practice 
satisfy me of following the lessons in the College 
Chapel : and this for reasons so obvious that I will 
not stop to point them out. Nor even is the reading 
of the Bible in College Lecture, the thing I mean; 
for reasons also which any acute person will readily 
ascertain for himself. None of these methods of ac- 
quainting yourselves with the contents of the Bible 
come up to the thing I contemplate, although each 
is good in its way ; and of course I am not speaking 
in disparagement of any. 

No. The thing I would so strenuously urge upon 
you, is, that, during your undergraduate period, 
you should read the whole Bible consecutively through, 
from one end to the other, by yourself and for your- 
self, with consummate method, care, and attention. 
The fundamental conditions of such a study of the 
Bible, in order to make it of any real use, are 
these : 

1. First, that you should deliberately apportion to 
this solemn duty the best and freshest and quietest 
half-hour in the whole day ; and then, that you should 
determine, let what will go undone, never to abridge 
that half-hour. You may sometimes be enabled to 
afford a little more time to the chapter : but you will 
find it quite fatal ever to devote a shorter period 
to it. And half an hour, if you employ it in right 
good earnest, at present, must be thought enough. 

2. Next, (except on Sundays and in Vacation, 
when you may safely double your daily task and your 
daily time,) be persuaded to read each, day exactly one 
chapter. On no account attempt to go reading on; 
but rather spend the moments which remain over, 


(they cannot be many !) in reviewing that day's por- 
tion ; or referring to some of the places indicated in 
the margin ; or glancing over yesterday's chapter. 

The effect of building up your Bible knowledge in 
this manner, bit by bit, is what you would not anti- 
cipate. The whole acquires a solidity and compact- 
ness not to be attained by any other method. You 
will find at the end of many days, not only that the 
structure has attained to symmetry and beauty, but 
that the disposition of its several parts, in some re- 
spects, has become intelligible also : while, (what is 
not of least importance,) the foundation on which all 
the superstructure rests, proves wondrous secure and 

3. Then, while you read, safe from the risk of 
interruption, (as I began by supposing,) and with 
every faculty intent on your task, try, as much as 
possible, to go over the words as if they were new to 
you ; and watch them, one by one, so that nothing 
may by any possibility escape your notice. Do not 
slumber over a single word. Nothing can be unim- 
portant when it is the HOLY GHOST who speaketh. 
It is an excellent practice to mark the expressions 
which strike you ; for it is a method of preserving the 
memory of what is sure else soon to pass away. 

4. And next, be persuaded to read without ex- 
traneous helps of any kind; except, of course, such 
help as a map, or the margin of your Bible, supplies. 
Pray avoid Commentaries and notes. First, you can- 
not afford time for them : and secondly, if you could, 
they would be as likely to mislead you as not. But 
the real reason why you are so* strenuously advised to 
avoid them, is, because they will do more to nullify 
your reading, than anything which could be imagined. 


Your object is to obtain an insight into Holy Scrip- 
ture, by acquiring the habit of reading it with intel- 
ligence and care : not to be saved trouble, and to be 
shown what other persons have thought about it. 

5. But then, though you are entreated not to have 
recourse to the notes of others, you are as strongly 
advised to make brief memoranda of your own : and 
the briefer the better. Construct your own table of 
the Patriarchs, your own analysis of the Law, your 
own descent of the Kings, your own enumeration of 
the Miracles. A pedigree fall of faults, made by 
yourself, will do you more good than the most accu- 
rate table drawn up by another : but if you are at all 
attentive and clever, it will not be full of faults. You 
will perhaps make the parables 56 instead of 30 : you 
will have gained 26 by your honest industry. Nay, 
keep a record of your difficulties, if you please ; or of 
anything which strikes you, and which you would be 
sorry to forget. But, as a rule, it is well to write 
little, and to give your time and thought to the record 
before you. 

6. Above all, is it indispensable that your reading 
of the Bible should be strictly consecutive ; and on no 
account may any one pretend to begin such a study of 
that book as I am here recommending, except at the 
first Chapter of Genesis. It is a great mistake, (though 
one of the commonest of all,) for a man to imagine that 
he knows the beginning of the Bible pretty well. I 
say it advisedly, that it would be easy to write down 
twelve interesting questions on that first chapter, of 
which none of the younger men present would be able 
to answer three, and yet, they should all be questions 
of such a sort that a labouring man's child with an 


open Bible would be able infallibly to answer them 
every one. 

7. It will follow from what has been offered, that 
you are invited to read every book in the Bible in the 
order in which it actually stands, never, of course, 
skipping a chapter * much less a Book. In every mere 
catalogue of names, be resolved to find edification. 
Feel persuaded that details, seemingly the driest, are 
full of GOD. Eemember that the difference between 
every syllable of Scripture and all other books in the 
world is, not a difference of degree, but of kind. All 
books but one, are human : that one book is Divine ! 

Now, you will perceive that the kind of study of 
the Bible here recommended, is somewhat different 
from what is commonly pursued. I contemplate the 
continued exercise of a most curious and prying, as 
well as a most vigilant and observing eye. No diffi- 
culty is to be neglected ; no peculiarity of expression 
is to be disregarded; no minute detail is to be over- 
looked. The hint let fall in an earlier chapter is to be 
compared with a hint let fall in the later place. Do 
they tally or not ? and what follows ? The chrono- 
logical details spontaneously evolved by the narrative, 
are to be unerringly discovered by the student for 
himself. The course of every journey is to be atten- 
tively noted. Things omitted are to be spied out as 
carefully as things set down ; and whatever can pos- 
sibly be gathered in the way of necessary inference, is 
to be industriously ascertained. The imagination is 
not to slumber either, because no pains are taken by 
the sacred writer to move the feelings or melt the 

How soon will any one who takes the trouble to 


read the Bible after this fashion, be struck with a 
hundred things which he never knew before, indeed, 
which are not commonly known ! How will he be for 
ever eliciting unsuspected facts, detecting undreamed 
of coincidences, but which are as important as they are 
true, accumulating materials of value quite ines- 
timable for future study in Divine things ! However 
unpromising a certain collection of references may be, 
he is careful to extend it, convinced, like a wise 
householder, that there will come an use for it after 
many days. His whole aim is to master thoroughly the 
record which he has undertaken to study. 

Let me not be misunderstood if it is added that 
the Bible should be read, I do not say in the same 
manner, that is, in the same temper and spirit, but 
at least with the same attention, as is bestowed upon 
a merely human work. In truth, it should be read 
with much more attention. But that diligence which 
a student commonly bestows on a difficult moral 
treatise, or an obscure drama, or a perplexed history, 
analyzing it, comparing passage with passage, and 
learning a great deal of it by heart, I am quite at 
a loss to understand why a student of the Bible should 
be a stranger to. " I do much condemn, 77 (says Lord 
Bacon), " I do much condemn that Interpretation of 
the Scripture which is only after the manner as men 
use to interpret a profane book." So do I. Scripture 
is to be approached and handled in quite a different 
spirit from a common history. The mind, the heart 
rather, must bow down before its revelations, in the 
most suppliant fashion imaginable. The book should 
ever be approached with prayer : " LORD, open Thou 
mine eyes that I may see the wondrous things of Thy 
Law !" The very printed pages should be handled 


with reverence, in consideration of the message they 
contain. But what I am saying is, that none of the 
methods which diligence and zeal have ever invented 
to secure a complete mastery of the contents of any 
merely human performance, may be overlooked by 
a student of the Bible. 

To what has gone before I will add one caution, and 
will trouble you with one only. It would be easy to 
multiply cautions : but I am talking to highly intel- 
ligent men ; and there is only one rock which I am 
really fearful of your running against. 

It was the advice of a great and good man, (to his 
clergy, I suspect,) that they should read the Bible 
with a special object: and an excellent recent writer 
has repeated the same advice ; namely that men should 
" read with a view to some particular inquiry, with 
purpose to clear up some peculiar question of interest, 
which," (says he,) " you may create for yourselves" 1 ." 
I entreat you to do nothing of the kind. Whatever 
advantages may result to an advanced student from 
adopting this practice, to you it must be fraught with 
unmingled evil. You tempted to overrate the 
importance of everything you discover which suits 
your present purpose : you will disregard all that looks 
in a different direction : you will be disappointed if 
you meet with nothing ad rem : you will get a habit 
of slurring over many chapters, many whole books of 
the Bible. A very little reflection will convince you 
that it must be as I say. Who, for example, could be 
expected to find delight and edification in the calendar 
of the Deluge, who had determined to read Genesis 
with a view to discovering what knowledge existed in 
the patriarchal age of a future life ? No. Your wisdom 
9 Blunt's Duties of a Parish Priest, p. 81. 


will be to divest your minds, as much as possible, of 
any preconceived notion as to what the Bible contains, 
or was intended to teach you. You should wish to 
find there nothing so much as the authentic evidence 
of what Divine Wisdom hath seen fit to communicate 
to man. Eead it therefore, if you are wise, with un- 
affected curiosity : settling down upon every flower, 
in order to find out, if you can, where the honey is : 
clinging to it rather, until you have found the honey. 
Say to yourself,- " It cannot be that all these details 
of months and days should be given in vain r . I must 
find out the reason of it." And, at last, you will find, 
what you will find. " Very strange," (you will learn 
to say to yourself,) " that the history of nearly 1600 
years should be curdled into one short chapter 8 ; and 
yet that three verses of the Bible should be devoted to 
the history of a man's losing his way in a field, and 
then finding it again* !" The subject may be worth 
thinking about. You are perhaps naturally disposed 
to take what you are pleased to call "a common sense 
view" of the meaning of Holy Scripture ; and to inter- 
pret it after a very dry unlovely fashion of your own : 
to evacuate its deeper sayings, and to doubt the mys- 
terious significancy of its historical details. You will 
speedily perceive, however, that the Apostles and 
Evangelists of CHRIST, as many as were moved by 
the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD, and spoke not their own 
words but His, that all these are against you: and 
the effect of this discovery on an honest and good 
heart, reading not in order to be confirmed in some 
preconceived opinion, but with a sincere desire of en- 
lightenment in Divine things, may be anticipated. 

r Gen. vii. 4 to viii. 14. * Ibid. v. 

* Ibid, xxxvii. 15, 16, 17. 


Bishop Horsley relates that by a yet simpler process 
he became disabused of a favourite fancy with which 
he set out, namely, that prophecy must of necessity 
carry a single meaning 11 . The attitude of mind which 
I so strongly recommend you to assume, (and it de- 
pends on an act of the "Will, whether you assume it 
or not,) is very exactly represented by the cry of 
the child Samuel, " Speak LORD, for Thy servant 
heareth !" 

It seems right, in the fewest words, to state what 
we do, and what we do not, expect to result from 
such a study of the Bible as this ; in other words, to 
assign the office of unassisted Biblical study. I would 
not willingly have my meaning mistaken here. 

It is not implied then, for a moment, that a man is 
either at liberty, or able, to gather his own Eeligion 
for himself out of the Bible. The very thought were 
monstrous. But it is a widely different thing for one 
of yourselves to read his Bible patiently, and humbly, 
and laboriously, through, without prejudice or theory, 
- unmolested by critical notes, undistracted by human 
comments, uninfluenced by party views : all this, 
I say, is a widely different thing from a man's in- 
venting his own system of Divinity. Members of 
the Catholic Church, born in a Christian country, 
educated amid the choicest influences for good, you 
are by no means so left to yourselves. The BOOK or 
COMMON PRAYER is your sufficient safeguard. The 
framework of the Faith, the conditions under which 
you may lawfully speculate about Divine mysteries, 
are all prescribed for you : and within those limits you 
cannot well go wrong. 

On the other hand, the outlines of Moral Theology, 
u See Appendix A. 


(as it may be called), you are fully competent to de- 
tect for yourselves. GOD'S strictness in punishing 
sin, as in the case of Moses x ; the efficacy of repent- 
ance, as in the case of Ahab y ; the sure answer to 
prayer, (to forgotten prayer, it may be !) as in the case 
of Zacharias z ; the seemingly roundabout methods of 
GOD'S providence, (as in the case of Abraham,) yet 
conducting inevitably to a blessed issue at the last ; : 
the rewards of obedience a ; the faithfulness of the 
Divine promises ; the boundless wealth of the Divine 
contrivance, which, on man's repentance, is able to 
convert even a curse into a blessing, as in the case of 
Levi b ; the peace and joy surely in reserve for those 
who fear GOD, as in the case of Joseph ; the extent 
to which things seemingly trivial are noticed by the 
Ancient of Days, as every page of the Bible shows ; 
these, and a hundred points like these, not only a man 
can gather for himself out of the Book of GOD'S Law, 
but no one else can do the work for him. He must 
discover all such matters for himself. 

And need I point out, for a minute, the immense 
advantage with which a mind so stored with Divine 
knowledge will approach the Ministry; and finally 
take in hand the actual oversight of the flock ? It is 
really not to be expressed. The Bishop's examination 
for Orders will become nothing but an agreeable ex- 
ercise, instead of an object of dread. You are quite 
sure of a few approving words in that quarter. But, 
(what is a thousand times more important,) you your- 

Deut. iii. 25, 26. y 1 Kings xxi. 2729. 

z St. Luke i. 13. * Jerem. xxxv. 18, 19. 

b Comp. Gen. xlix. 5 7, "with Exod. xxxii. 26 28, (alluded to 
in Deut. xxxiii. 9,) and finally Numb. iii. 9 and 45, and Josh. xxi. 


self feel safe and strong. You begin to read some 
treatise on Divinity; and you find yourself in some 
degree competent to test the writer's statements, to 
endorse or to suspect his conclusions, because you are 
familiar with the Eule of Faith which he himself em- 
ployed. It becomes your turn at last to instruct 
others, from the pulpit for example ; and instead of 
timid truisms, and vague generalities, you are able to 
draw a bold clear outline round almost any depart- 
ment of Christian doctrine. You can explain with 
authority. You are not afraid to catechize before the 
congregation : for although your Theological attain- 
ments are but slender after all, yet, you know your 
Bible well ; and even if an absurdly wrong answer is 
given you, you know how to single out from the hank 
the golden thread of Truth, and to display it before 
the eyes of men and Angels. And let me tell you, 
by way of ending the subject, we should hear less 
about dull sermons, and inattentive congregations, 
and badly filled churches, as well as about the 
astounding ignorance of many among the upper 
classes, in Divine things, if our younger Clergy 
knew the Bible a great deal better than they do. 
Aye, and we should not have so many unsound re- 
marks about Holy Scripture either, so many mis- 
taken views of doctrine, so many crude remarks 
about Inspiration, made ly persons who ought to 
know letter. 

You will perceive that I am saying all this, (ex- 
cept the last few words,) at you, (the younger men 
present;) because in you I see many of the future 
Clergy of England. And I say it, because, (for the 
last time,) I do entreat you, one and all, to follow the 
advice I have been giving you ; and to set about such 


a careful study of. the Bible, at once. Do not put it 
off for a single day. Begin it tomorrow morning. 
You will then have mastered Genesis this term, finish- 
ing the last chapter on Sunday the 10th of December; 
and on Monday, the llth, you will have to read the 
first chapter of Exodus. I am confident that you will 
remember this day and hour with gratitude to the end 
of your lives, if you will but make the experiment 
and persevere. 

And just one word to those who aspire, (and all 
should aspire,) to University honours. You will not 
find what I have been recommending any hindrance 
to you at all. But even supposing you do, now and 
then, find the inexorable daily half-hour stand in the 
way of something else, shall not the very thought of 
Him whose Voice you have deliberately resolved to 
hear daily at that fixed time, make you full amends ? 
Shall you resolve to pluck so freely of the Tree of 
Knowledge, and yet begrudge the approach once a day 
to the Tree of Life, which grows in the midst of the 
Paradise of GOD ? Shall ample time be found for 
works of fiction, for the Eeview, and the Magazine, 
and the newspaper, yet half an hour a day be deemed 
too much to be given to the "Word of GOD ? What ? 
room for everything and everybody ; yet still " no 
room in the Inn" for ORRIST! .... I have, (I speak 
honestly,) I have far too high an opinion of your in- 
stincts for good, to think it possible. You have 
plenty of faults, (Goo knoweth !), but I am very 
much deceived indeed if there be not a spirit stirring 
among the young men of this place, overflowing with 
promise; a real inclination, (obscured at times, but 
still very energetic,) for whatever things are pure, 
and lovely, and of good report. 



Of course, it is implied by what % goes before, that 
you will read no work of Divinity just at present. Be 
counselled, on no account, to read any. Above all, 
shun the partial, ill- digested pamphlet, and the one- 
sided review, and the controversial letter, and the 
Essay which seems to have been written. in order to 
prove nothing, Be content,^ for the next three years, 
to study no book of Divinity but the Bible. 

And the study of that Book, I repeat, you will find 
no hindrance, no impediment, no burthen to you at 
all. On the contrary. It will render you a very 
singular service, let your classical and logical studies 
be as severe as they will ; (and they cannot well be too 
severe, too engrossing, for this is your golden oppor- 
tunity which never will, never can, come back again !) 
The undersong of "Siloa's brook that flows, fast by 
the oracle of GOD," will many a time soothe and refresh 
your else dry and weary spirit. What was begun as 
a task will soon come to be regarded as a privilege. 
That jealously-guarded half-hour will be found to be 
the one green spot in the whole day, like Gideon's 
fleece, fresh with the dew of the early morning, when 
it is "dry upon all the earth beside." Your secret 
study of that Book of Books, I say, will render you 
a very singular service. The contrast between the 
Divine and Human method will strike you with ever- 
recurring power. Unlike every other History, the 
Bible removes the veil, and discovers the causes of 
things, including the First Great Cause of all, who 
dwelleth in Light unapproachable, but who yet hum- 
bleth Himself to behold, and to controul, and to over- 
rule for good, the things which are done in Heaven 
and on Earth. And thus, it is not too much to say 
that the Bible, to one who reads its pages aright, is 


a certain clue to- every other History, as well as 
a perpetual commentary on every other Book. It 
informs the judgment, and cleanses the eye, through- 
out the whole department of Morals : and as for His- 
tory, what is it all, but the evidence of GOD in the 
world, " traces of His iron rod, or of His Shepherd's 
staff 6 ?" 

Profoundly sensible am I, that these have been 
very unintellectual, and somewhat common-place re- 
marks : but I would rather, a hundred times, be of 
use to the younger men present; I would rather, 
a hundred times, succeed in persuading one of them, 
to adopt that method of reading the Bible which I 
have been recommending; than try to say some- 
thing which might be thought fine and clever 

Let me only, in conclusion, faithfully remind them, 
that the true office of the study of Divine things is 
not, by any means, that which, for obvious reasons, 
I have been rather dwelling and enlarging upon. It 
is not merely to inform the understanding, that Holy 
Scripture is to be read with such consummate atten- 
tion, and studied with such exceeding care. It is 
not for the illustration of History, or in order that it 
may be made a test of the value of other systems of 
Morals. Not, by any means, in order to facilitate 
admission into Holy Orders, (for which only some of 
you are destined;) or to render a man's pulpit- 
addresses attractive and agreeable ; or even to enable 
a parish priest to teach with confidence and authority ; 
is he entreated now to " prevent the night watches," 
if need be, that he may be occupied (like one of old 
time d ,) with GOD'S "Word. no ! It is, in order 

c The Rev. C. Marriott's Sermons, vol. I. p. 441. 
d Ps. cxix. 148. 


that his inner life may be made conformable to that 
outer Law e : that his aims may be ennobled, and his 
motives purified, and his earthly hopes made consistent 
with the winning of an imperishable crown ! It is in 
order that when he wavers between Eight and "Wrong, 
the unutterable Canon of GOD'S Law may suggest itself 
to him as a constraining motive. Its aim, and purpose, 
and real function, is, that the fiery hour of temptation 
may find the Christian soldier armed with "the sword 
of the Spirit, which is the Word of GOD f :" that the 
dark season of Adversity may find his soul anchored 
on the Eock of Ages, which alone can prove his 
soul's sufficient strength and stay. ... Of a truth, as 
Life goes on, Men will find the blessedness of their 
Hope ; if they have not found it out already. Under 
every form of trial, and under every strange vicis- 
situde; in sickness, and in perplexity, and in 
bereavement, and in the hour of death; " LORD, 
to whom shall we go? Thou, Thou hast the words 
of Eternal Life !" 

6 Not so Essays and Reviews, pp. 36 and 45. f Eph. vi. 17. 



HEBREWS xi. 3. 

Through Faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by 
the Word of GOD. 

8T. PAUL, in a famous and familiar chapter of his 
Epistle to the Hebrews, having declared "what 
Faith is," proceeds, (as the heading of the chapter 
expresses it), to note "the worthy fruits thereof in 
the Fathers of old time." The Book of Genesis was 
obviously in his hands, or in his heart, while he 
wrote : for he appeals to the transactions there re- 
corded, in the very order, and often in the very 
words, of Moses. The HOLY GHOST, I say, directs 
our attention to what is contained in the ivth, vth, 
vith, xiith, xviith, xxiind, xxviith, xlviiith, 
and 1th chapters of Genesis. But He begins with 
a yet earlier chapter. He begins with the first. Abel, 
Enoch, JSToah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, 
Jacob, Joseph; these stand forward as samples of 
GOD'S faithful ones. But with them, the HOLY GHOST 
proposes to associate us. Moreover, He gives us the 
place of honour. Before mentioning one of their acts 
of Faith, He mentions one of ours. "We come first, 
then they. And the particular field in which we 
shine out so conspicuously, the special province 
* Preached in Christ- Church Cathedral, Nov. llth, 1860. 


which is assigned to us, that portion of the inspired 
Narrative wherein you and I are supposed to shew 
a degree of undoubting faith which entitles us to rank 
with those " Fathers of old time," is found to be the 
first chapter of the Book of Genesis. " Through Faith 
we understand that the worlds were framed by the 
"Word of GOD." An honourable place, and an honour- 
able function truly ! I would to GOD that it might 
be as gratifying to every one of the congregation, as 
it is to the preacher, to discover that this is the 
special stand-point which has been reserved for him 
and for them. 

Since, however, it is impossible to forget that we 
have sometimes seen heads, which are supposed to be 
very much indeed in advance of the age, shaken omi- 
nously at the very chapter which the text bequeaths 
and commends to the special acceptance of you and 
me, I propose that, in the very briefest manner, we 
now review the contents of that chapter; in order 
that we may discover what is the special absurdity, 
or impossibility, or improbability, or by whatever 
other name the thing is to be called, which makes 
it quite out of the question that you or I should 
undertake the act of Faith here assigned us. 

I read then, that " In the beginning, GOD created 
the Heaven and the Earth :" by which I under- 
stand, that, at some remote period, which may or 
may not baffle human Arithmetic b , it was the plea- 

b "The whole period, from the beginning of the primary fossili- 
ferous strata to the present day, must be great beyond calculation, 
and only bear comparison with the astronomical cycles, as might 
naturally be expected ; the earth being without doubt of the same 
antiquity with the other bodies of the solar system," Mrs. Somer- 
ville's Physical Geography. 


sure of GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON, GOD the HOLY 
GHOST, three Persons, coeternal and coequal, one 
GOD, out of nothing, to create the entire Universe. 
" All things that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, 
visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or do- 
minions, or principalities, or powers : all things were 
created by Him c ;" and they were created out of no- 
thing. The word in the original does not indeed ne- 
cessarily imply as much : but since there is no word in 
Hebrew, (any more than there is in Greek, Latin, or 
.English,) peculiarly expressive of the notion of creating 
out of nothing, it need not excite our surprise that 
Moses does not employ such a word to describe what 
GOD did "in the beginning." Then it was, in the 
grey of that far distant morning I mean, that all those 
glittering orbs which sow the vault of Heaven with 
brightness and with beauty, flashed into sudden being. 
" Thou, even Thou, art LORD alone: Thou hast made 
Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens, with all their host*." 
Suns, the centres of systems, many of them so distant 
from this globe of ours, that sun and system scarce 
shew so bright as a single lesser star: suns, I say, 
with their marvellous equipage of attendant bodies, 
our sun among the rest, with all those wandering 
fires which speed their unwearied courses round it: 
suns, and planets with their moons, bathed once and 
for ever in the fountain of that Light which GOD in^ 
habited from all Eternity, then marshalled themselves 
in mysterious order, according to " the counsel of His 
will 6 :" yea, and with their furniture, unimagined 
and unimaginable, went careering through the un- 
trodden realms of space, each on its several errand 
of glory, because of obedience to its Maker's sovereign 

c Col. i. 16. d Keh. ix. 6. Eph. i. 11. 


Law f . " By the Word of the LORD," (as it is written,) 
"were the Heavens made; and all the hosts of them 
by the breath of His mouth g !" 

'Now, it is reserved to the geologist, (Nature's 
High-priest !) to guess at the condition of this 
Earth of ours throughout all the long period of un- 
chronieled ages which immediately succeeded the 
birthday of Time. It is for him to guess at the suc- 
cessive changes which this globe of ours underwent ; 
and the progressive cycles of Creation of which it 
was the theatre ; and the many strange races of crea- 
tures which, one after another, moved upon its sur- 
face, walking the dry, or inhabiting the moist. He 
shall guess ; and / will sit at his feet and listen, with 
unfeigned gratitude, wonder, and delight, while he 
reports to me his guesses : (for the really great man 
is eager to assure me that they are no more.) But 
when his tale of perplexity is ended, and the last 6,000 
years of this world's History have to be discussed, 
the geologist's function is at an end. I bid him, in 
GOD'S Name, be silent ; for now it is GOD that speak- 
eth. If any question be moved as to how that actual 
system of things to which Man belongs, began, I bid 
him come down, and take the learner's place ; for now 
/ mean to assume his vacant chair. This time, there 
shall at least be no guess-work. GOD is now the 
Speaker: and what GOD revealeth unto me, that I 
promise faithfully to report to him. 

There was a time, then, and it was certainly less 
than 6,000 years ago, when " the Earth was without 
form, and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the 
deep." What catastrophe it was which had caused 
that the fountains of the abyss should be broken up, 

f Hooker's Eccl. Pol., B. I. c. iii. 2. g Ps. xxxiii. 6. 

II.] GENESIS I. 2. 27 

and the solid Earth submerged, I am not concerned to 
explain : nor how it had come to pass that from 
a world of seas and continents, it had become a watery 
ball, wrapped about with superincumbent vapour: 
nor how the blessed sunlight had suffered dire eclipse ; 
so that the Earth revolved in a horror of great dark- 
ness. My faith however is not troubled, nor even 
perplexed, by the strangeness of these things. Shall 
I think it a mere matter of course that one little flaw 
in a pipe shall, in a second of time, transform the 
orderly well-compacted seats of a goodly Church to 
one unsightly mass of shapeless and disordered ruin h ; 
and shall I pretend to stand aghast at the strangeness 
of a similar overthrow of this Earth's furniture at the 

mere fiat of the Most High ? Behold, " He mea- 

sureth the waters in the hollow of His Hand, and 
weigheth the mountains in scales V "What if the 
Creator of the earth and the sea shall bid them of 
a sudden change places ? Think you that they would 
hesitate to obey Him ? Or what if He " calleth for 
the waters of the Sea, and poureth them out upon the 
face of the Earth*?" Then further, if I believe, (as I 
do believe,) that when the Jews crucified the LORD of 
Glory " there was darkness over all the land" from 
the sixth hour unto the ninth k ; nay, that when 
" Moses stretched forth his hand toward Heaven, there 
was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt," even 
darkness which might be felt, for three whole days 1 : 

h Alluding to a catastrophe which had recently occurred at 
St. Mary's Church, and which necessitated considerable repairs ; in 
consequence of which, the first four of these Sermons were preached 
in the Cathedral. 

1 Is. xl. 12. j Amos v. 8 and ix. 6. 

k St. Matth. xxvii. 45. l Exod. x. 2123. 


more than that ; if I believe, (as I do believe,) the 
solemn prediction of my LORD, that at the consum- 
mation of all things, " The Sun shall be darkened, and 
the Moon shall not give her light, and the Stars shall 
fall from Heaven" 1 :" shall it move me to incredulity, 
if GOD tells me, that six thousand years ago it was 
His Divine pleasure that the same phenomenon should 
prevail for a season ? Surely, (I say to myself,) 
surely this is He " which remove th the mountains, 
and they know not : which shaketh the Earth out of 
her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. Which 
commandeth the Sun, and it riseth not ; and sealeth up 
the Stars"!" 

1. But it was now GOD'S pleasure to bring Beauty 
out of Chaos, and to establish a fresh order of things 
upon the surface of our Earth. And, as the first 
step thereto, " the SPIRIT of GOD moved upon the face 
of the waters." The Hebrew phrase implies no less 
than the tremulous brooding as of a bird, causing 
the dreary waste to heave and swell with coming life. 
" And GOD said, Let there be Light. And there was 
Light." " He spake and it was done ." From Him- 
self, who is " the true Light," (not from the Sun, which, 
- like the rest of the orbs of Heaven, is but a lamp of 
His kindling) ; from Himself, I say, a ray of Light 
went forth ; and that is why He was pleased to praise 
it. Look through the chapter, and you will find that 
it is the only one of His creatures of which it is 
specially said that " GOD saw that it was good p ." . . . 
Thus, one hemisphere was illumined, whereby " GOD 
divided the light from the darkness ;" and when the 
Earth had completed a single revolution, there had 

m St. MattL. xxiv. 29. n Job ix. 57. 

Ps. xxxiii. 9. P Gen. i. 4. 


been a Day and there had been a Night, so named 
by the Word of GOD : " and the evening and the 
morning were the first Day q ." ... Do you see any 
impossibility so far ? I, certainly, see none. It does 
not seem to me absurd that " the Light of the world r ," 
" dwelling in the light which no man can approach 
unto 8 ," should cause "the light to shine out of dark- 
ness 1 ." We shall perhaps come upon the absurdity by 
and by. Let us hasten forward. 

2. " And GOD said, Let there be a firmament in 
the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters 
from the waters." The Hebrew word (an expansion), 
and the context, shew plainly enough what is meant. 
The atmosphere was now created, whereupon the 
watery particles either subsided into sea, or rose aloft 
in the form of clouds. " And the evening and the 
morning were the second Day," which is the only day 
of which it is not said that GOD saw that it was good. 

3. " And GOD said, Let the waters under the 
Heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let 
the dry land appear." Then it was that these con- 
tinents were upheaved, other than those which had 
been continents before; and the sea sank into the 
cavities which had been ordained for its reception; 
Then, " GOD saw that it was good." The sentence of 
approval which had been withheld from the work of 
yesterday, because that work, (namely, of dividing the 

i "Can any one sensible of the value of words suppose," (asks 
Mr. Goodwin,) " that nothing more is here described, or intended 
to be described, than the partial clearing away of a fog?" (Essays 
and Reviews, pp. 227-8.) No one, we answer. But to the ques- 
tion, we venture to rejoin another. To whom does this philosopher 
suppose his pleasantry likely to prove injurious? Is he making 
Moses ridiculous, or himself? 

r St. John ix. 5, &c. 1 Tim. vi. 16. * 2 Cor. iv. 6. 


waters from the waters,) was incomplete, is freely 
bestowed to-day. And it may have been to teach us 
that no incomplete work is " good," in GOD'S sight. 
Next, the Creator called into being every extant form 
of vegetable life. So that, instead of a world of waters, 
which was all that was to be seen yesterday, not 
only cliffs, and mountains, and bays, but green hills, 
and fertile valleys, and grassy meadows had come 
to view, with lakes, and rivers, and fountains, and 
falls of water. Again it is written, concerning Earth's 
green furniture, " GOD saw that it was good." " And 
the evening and the morning were the third Day." 

4. " And GOD said, Let there be Lights in the firma- 
ment of the Heaven to divide the day from the night : 
and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for 
days, and for years." And so it was. Sun, moon, 
and stars, came to view u ; and this globe of ours, no 
longer illumined, as, for three days, it had been, re- 
joiced in the sun's. genial light by day, and by night 
in the splendours of the paler planet. And thus was 
also gained an easy measure for marking time, the 
succession of months and years, as well as of days. 
" And GOD saw that it was good." " And the evening 
and the morning were the fourth Day." 

5. "And GOD said, Let the waters bring forth 
abundantly the moving creature that hath life." Thus 
the inhabitants of the sea and of the air were called 
into existence ; and it was from the sea that GOD 
seems to have commanded that they should derive 
their being. He saw that it was good, and He blessed 

11 " Whether the writer regarded them as already existing, and 
only waiting to have a proper place assigned them, may be open to 
question." (E. and R., p. 221.) We accept the alternative given 
us by Mr. Goodwin. 


the fish and the winged fowl; "and the evening and 
the morning were the fifth Day." 

6. It remained only to provide for the dry land its 
occupants ; and the Earth was accordingly commanded 
to bring forth the living creature after his kind, 
beast and cattle and creeping thing. Unlike that 
first Creation which was of all things out of nothing, 
the work of the six days was a creation of new things 
out of old. To the Creation of Man, His crowning 
work, GOD is declared to have come with deliberation ; 
as well as to have announced His purpose with sig- 
nificant solemnity of allusion. " Let us make Man in 
our image, after our likeness ; and let them have do- 
minion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of 
the air, and over the cattle." " And the LORD GOD 
formed Man of the dust of the ground, and breathed 
into his nostrils the breath of life; and Man became 
a living soul." Transferred to the Garden of GOD'S 
planting in Eden, to dress it and to keep it, (for in- 
activity is no part of bliss !) and brought into solemn 
covenant with GOD, to Adam, GOD brings the beasts 
of the field and the fowls of the air, of set purpose that 
GOD may "see what he will call them:" a wondrous 
tribute, truly, to the perfection of understanding in 
which Man had been created ! . . . " And the LORD 
GOD caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he 
slept : and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the 
flesh instead thereof; and the rib which the LORD GOD 
had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought 
her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone 
of my bone, and flesh of my flesh : she shall be called 
woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore 
shall a Man leave his Father and his Mother, and shall 
cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh." . . . 


Man's creation was the crowning wonder, to which all 

else had, in a manner, tended Truly when we think 

of him, newly made in GOD'S image, surveying this 
world, yet fresh with the dew of its birth, and beautiful 
as it came from the Hands of its Maker, it seems 
scarcely the language of poetry that then " the morning 
stars sang together and all the sons of GOD shouted 
for joy V 

I have preferred thus to complete the history of 
Man's Creation; which presents us with the primal 
institution of all, that, namely, of Marriage. " On 
the seventh Day, GOD rested from all His work which 
He had made ; and blessed the seventh Day, and 
sanctified it ; because that in it He had rested from 
all His work." This then is the other great primaeval 
institution ; more ancient than the Fall, the Law of 
the Sabbath ; which in the sacred record is brought 
into such august prominence. And never do we 
ponder over that record, without apprehension at 
what may be the possible results of relaxing the 
stringency of enactments which would seem to be, to 
our nature, as the very twin pillars of the Temple, 
its establishment and its strength 2 ". 

Now, on a review of all this wondrous History, 
I profess myself at a loss to see what special note of 
impracticability it presents that I should hesitate to 
embrace it, in the plain natural sense of the words, 
with both the arms of my heart. That it is not such 
an account of the manner of the Creation as you or 
I should have ourselves invented, or anticipated, or 
on questionable testimony have felt disposed to accept, 
is very little to the purpose. Apart from Eeve- 
lation, we could really have known nothing at all 
v Job xxxviii. 7. x Alluding to 1 Kings vii. 21. 


about the works of the Days of the first Great "Week. 
Ejaculations therefore concerning the strangeness of 
the record, and cavils at the phraseology in which it 
is propounded, are simply irrelevant. 

There exists however a vague suspicion after all 
that the beginning of Genesis is a vision, or an alle- 
gory, or a parable, or anything you please, except 
true History. It is hard to imagine why. If there 
be a book in the whole Bible which purports to be 
a plain historical narrative of actual events, that book 
is the book of Genesis. In nine-tenths of its details, 
it is as human, and as matter of fact, as any book of 
Biography or History that ever was penned. Why 
the first page of it is to be torn out, treated as a myth 
or an allegory, and in short explained away, I am 
utterly at a loss to discover. There is no difference 
in the style. Long since has the theory that Genesis 
is composed of distinguishable fragments, been ex- 
ploded 7 . There is no pretence for calling this first 
chapter poetry, and treating it by a distinct set of 
canons. It is a pure Revelation, I admit : but I have 
yet to learn why the revelation of things intelligible, 
where the method of speech is not such as to challenge 
a figurative interpretation, is not to be taken literally : 
unless indeed it has been discovered that a narrative 
must of necessity be fabulous if the transactions re- 
ferred to are unusually remote and extraordinary. The 
events recorded are unique in their character, true. 

y The test of Elohim and Jehovah has been, by the Germans them- 
selves, given up ; " and for this plain reason, that in many parts 
of Genesis, [e.g. ch. xxviii. 16 22 : xxxi. : xxxix., &c.] it is utterly 
untenable ; the names being so intermingled as to admit of no such 
division." See the Appendix (C) to the Eev. Henry John Eose's 
Hulsean Lectures for 1833, p. 233. 



But this happens from the very necessity of the case. 
The creation of a world, to the inhabitants of that 
world is an unique event. 

But we are assured that some of the statements in 
this first chapter of Genesis are palpably untrue ; as 
when it is said that the Sun, Moon, and Stars were 
created on the fourth Day, which, it is urged, is 
a physical impossibility: for what forces else sus- 
tained, and kept this world a sphere? The pheno- 
mena of Geology again prove to demonstration, it is 
said, that the structure of the earth is infinitely more 
ancient than the Mosaic record states : and also that 
there must have been Light, and sunshine too, at that 
remote epoch, which fostered each various form of 
animal and vegetable life. Further, we are assured 
that it is unphilosophical to speak of the creation of 
Light before the creation of the Sun. Then, the 
simplicity of the language is objected to: "the 
greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to 
rule the night :" " dividing the light from the dark- 
ness :" " waters above the firmament :" and so forth. 
The very ascription of speech to GOD, gives offence. 
Again, some raw conceit of the advanced state of 
the human intellect rejects with scorn the notion of 
Adam oracularly bestowing names on GOD'S creatures. 
Finally, the creation of Eve, moulded by GOD from 
the side of the Protoplast, is declared to savour so 
plainly of the mythical, allegorical, or figurative ; that 
the narrative must be allowed to be altogether un- 
worthy of such wits as ours. 

But we have seen that the creation of Sun, Moon, 
and Stars is not assigned to the fourth day but to 
" the beginning." The antiquity of this Earth we 
affirm to be a circumstance left wholly untouched by 


the Mosaic record : or, if touched, it is rather con- 
firmed; for, before beginning to describe the work 
of the first Day, Moses describes the state of "the 
Earth" by two Hebrew words of most rare occurrence 2 , 
which denote that it had become waste and empty: 
while " the deep" is spoken of as being already in 
existence. There is nothing at all unphilosophical in 
speaking of Light as existing apart from the Sun. 
Eather would it be unphilosophical to speak of the 
Sun as the source and centre of Light. I see nothing 
more childish again in the mention of " the greater 
and the lesser light," than in the talk of " sun-rise" 
and " sun-set," which is to this hour the language of 
the Observatory. As for attributing speech to GOD, 
I am content to remind you of Hooker's explanation 
of the design of Moses therein, throughout the pre- 
sent Chapter. " Was this only his intent," (he asks ? ) 
" to signify the infinite greatness of GOD'S power by 
the easiness of His accomplishing such effects without 
travail, pain, or labour ? Surely it seemeth that Moses 
had herein besides this a further purpose; namely, 
first to teach that GOD did not work as a necessary, 
but a voluntary agent, intending beforehand and de- 
creeing with Himself that which did outwardly pro- 
ceed from Him ; secondly, to shew that GOD did then 
institute a Law natural to be observed by Creatures, 
and therefore according to the manner of laws, the 
institution thereof is described, as being established 
by solemn injunction. His commanding those things 
to be which are, and to be in such sort as they are, to 
keep that tenure and course which they do, importeth 

x Besides in Gen. i. 2, the expression (iohu loJiu} recurs in Jer. 
iv. 23 and Is. xxxiv. 11, both, times with clear reference to the 
earlier place. Jeremiah in fact quotes Genesis. 



the establishment of Nature's Law And as it 

cometh to pass in a kingdom rightly ordered, that 
after a Law is once published, it presently takes effect 
far and wide, all states framing themselves thereunto ; 
even so let us think that it fareth in the natural 
course of the world. Since the time that GOD did 
first proclaim the edicts of His Law upon it, Heaven 
and Earth have hearkened unto His voice, and their 
labour hath been to do His will a ." " He spake the 
wor^ and they were made : He commanded and they 
were created. He hath made them fast for ever 
and ever. He hath given them a law which shall not 
be broken*" 

Whether or no South overestimated Adam's know- 
ledge, I will not pretend to decide : but I am convinced 
the truth lies more with him than with certain modern 
wits, when he says concerning our first Father: 
"He came into the world a philosopher; which suffi- 
ciently appeared by his writing the nature of things 
upon their names . . . His understanding could almost 
pierce into future contingents; his conjectures im- 
proving even to prophecy, or the certainties of pre- 
diction. Till his Fall, he was ignorant of nothing but 
sin ... There was then no struggling with memory, 
no straining for invention. His faculties were ready 
upon the first summons . . . "We may collect the ex- 
cellency of the understanding then, by the glorious 
remainders of it now : and guess at the stateliness of 
the building by the magnificence of its ruins . . . And 
certainly that must needs have been very glorious, the 
decays of which are so admirable. He that is comely 
when old and decrepit, surely was very beautiful when 
lie was young ! An Aristotle was but the rubbish 

Eccl. Pol, B. I. c. iii. 2. b Ps. cxlviii. 5, 6. 


of an Adam ; and Athens but the rudiments of 
Paradise c ." 

And lastly, as for so much of the Divine narrative 
as concerns the Creation of the first human pair, I am 
content to remind you of a. circumstance which in ad- 
dressing believers ought to be of overwhelming weight : 
namely, that our SAVIOUR and His Apostles, again and 
again, refer to the narrative before us in a manner 
which precludes the notion of its being anything but 
severest History. Our SAVIOUR CHRIST even resyl- 
lables the words spoken by the Protoplast in Para- 
dise ; and therein finds a sanction for the indissoluble 
nature of the marriage bond d . 

I take leave to add that even the respectful attempt 
to make Genesis accommodate itself to the supposed 
requirements of Geology, by boldly assuming that the 
days of Creation were each a thousand years long, 
seems inadmissible. Even were such an hypothesis 
allowed, nothing would be gained : for Geology does 
not by any means require us to believe that after 
a thousand years of misty light, there came a thousand 
years of ocean deposit : and again, a thousand years 
of moist and dry, during which vegetable life alone 
prevailed: and then a thousand years of sun, moon, 
and stars. The very notion seems absurd 6 . But, 

c South's Sermons, (Serin. II.) 

d See St. Matth. xix. 4 to 6, where Gen. i. 27 as well as Gen. 
ii. 24, are quoted by our SAVIOUR. 

e " Holding," (says Hugh Miller,) "that the six days of the 
Mosaic account were not natural days, but lengthened periods, 
I find myself called on, as a geologist, to account for but three out 
of the six. Of the period during which light was created ; of the 
period during which a firmament was made to separate the waters 
from the waters ; or of the period during which the two great lights 
of the earth, with the other heavenly bodies, became visible from 


what is more to the purpose, such an interpretation 
seems to stultify the whole narrative. A week is de- 
scribed. Days are spoken of, each made up of an 
evening and a morning. GOD'S cessation from the work 
of Creation on the Seventh Day is emphatically ad- 
duced as the reason of the Fourth Commandment, 
the mysterious precedent for our observance of one 
day of rest at the end of every six days of toil, 
"for in six days" (it is declared,) "the LOTID made 
Heaven and Earth V You may not play tricks with 
language plain as this, and elongate a week until 
it shall more than embrace the span of all recorded 

Neither am I able to see what would be gained by 
proposing to prolong the Days of Creation indefi- 
nitely, so as to consider them as representing vast and 
unequal periods; (though I am far from presuming 
to speak of any pious conjecture with disrespect.) 
My inveterate objection to this scheme is again two- 
fold. (1) The best-ascertained requirements of Geo- 
logy are not satisfied by a sixfold division of pheno- 
mena corresponding with what is recorded in Gene- 
sis of the Six Days of Creation. (2) This method 
does even greater violence to the letter of the in- 
spired narrative than the scheme of reconcilement 
last hinted at. 

I dare not believe that what has been spoken will 
altogether meet the requirements of minds of a certain 

the Earth's surface ; we need expect to find no record in the rocks." 
Testimony, &c., p. 134. This is ingenious, and is piously meant. 
But the first three days remain to be accounted for ly somebody, all 
the same. If the last three days represent " lengthened periods," 
so, I suppose, do i\& first three. 
' Exod. xx. 11. 


stamp. A gentleman, who certainly has the advan- 
tage of appearing in good company, has lately favoured 
the world with the information that the first chapter 
of Genesis is the uninspired speculation of a Hebrew 
astronomer, who was bent on giving " the best and 
most probable account that could be then given of 
GOD'S universe g ." The Hebrew writer asserts indeed 
" solemnly and unhesitatingly that for which he must 
have known that he had no authority 11 ;" but we need 
not therefore " attribute to him wilful misrepresenta- 
tion, or consciousness of asserting that which he knew 
not to be true 1 ." If this " early speculator" "as- 
serted as facts what he knew in reality only as pro- 
babilities," it was because he was not harassed by 
the scruples which result " from our modern habits of 
thought, and from the modesty of assertion which the 
spirit of true science has taught us j ." The history of 
this important discovery and of others of a similar 
nature, (which, by the way, are one and all announced 
with the same " modesty of assertion" as what goes 
before,) would appear to be this. Natural science has 
lately woke up from her long slumber of well nigh 
sixty ages ; and with that immodesty for which youth 
and inexperience have ever been proverbial,' she is 
impatient to measure her crude theories against the 
sure revelation of GOD'S Word. Where the two differ, 
she assumes that of course the inspired Oracles are 
wrong, and her own wild guesses right. She is even 
indecent in her eagerness to invalidate the testimony 
of that Book which has -been the confidence and stay 
of GOD'S Servants in all ages. On any evidence, or 
on none, she is prepared to hurl to the winds the 

* Essays and Reviews, p. 252. h Hid. 

1 Id. p. 253. ' Id. p. 252. 


august record of Creation. Inconveniently enough 
for the enemies of GOD'S Word, every advance in 
Geological Science does but serve to corroborate the 
record that the Creation of Man is not to be referred 
to a remoter period than some six thousand years ago. 
But of this important fact we hear but little. On the 
other hand, no trumpet is thought loud enough to 
bruit about a suspicion that Man may be a creature of 
yet remoter date. Thus, fragments of burnt brick found 
fifty feet below the surface of the banks of the Nile, 
were hailed as establishing Man's existence in Egypt 
more than 13,000 years; until it was unhappily re- 
membered that burnt brick in Egypt belongs to the 
period of the Eoman dominion. More recently, im- 
plements of chipped flint found, with some bones, in 
a bed of gravel, have been eagerly appealed to as 
a sufficient indication that the Creation of Man is to 
be referred to a period at least 10,000 years more re- 
mote than is fixed by the Chronology of the Bible. 
. . . Brick and flint ! a precious fulcrum, truly, for 
a theory which is to upset the World ! 

But I shall be told, with that patronizing air of 
conscious intellectual superiority which a certain class 
of gentlemen habitually assume on such occasions, 
that I mistake the case completely : that no wish is 
entertained in any quarter to invalidate the truth of 
Eevelation, or to shake Men's confidence in the Bible 
as the Word of GOD : that it has been the way of 
narrow-minded bigots in all ages, and is so in this, 
to raise an outcry of the Bible being in danger, and 
so to rouse the prejudices of mankind : that the error 
lies in claiming for the Bible an office which it no- 
where claims for itself, and which it was never meant 
to fulfil : that the harmony between the Bible and 


Nature is complete, but that it is not such a harmony 
as is sometimes imagined : that the Bible is not a 
scientific book, and was never meant to teach Natural 
Science : that it was designed to inculcate moral good- 
ness, and is clearly full of unscientific statements, 
which it is the office of Science to correct; and, if 
need be, to remove. All this, and much beside, I 
shall be told. Such fallacious platitudes have been 
put forth by men who are neither Divines nor Philoso- 
phers, ad nauseam, within the last forty or fifty years. 

Now, in reply, we have a few words to say. The 
profession of faithfulness we hail with pleasure : the 
imputation of imbecility we accept with unconcern. 
But when gentlemen tell us that the Bible was never 
meant to teach Science ; and that wherever its state- 
ments are opposed to the clear inductions of reason; 
they must give way ; and so forth : we take the liberty 
of retaliating their charge. We inform them that they 
really mistake the case entirely. When they go on 
to tell us that they believe in the truth of the Bible 
as sincerely as ourselves : that its harmonies are com- 
plete, but not such as we imagine ; and so forth ; 
we venture to add that they really know not what 
they assert. In plain language, they talk nonsense. 
Of a simple unbeliever we know at least what to 
think. But what is to be thought of persons who 
disbelieve just whatever they dislike, and yet profess 
to be just as hearty believers as you or I ? 

That the Mosaic record of Creation has been thought 
at variance with certain deductions of modern obser- 
vation, is not surprising: seeing that the deductions 
of each fresh period have been at variance with the 
deductions of that which went before ; and seeing 
that the theory of one existing school is inconsistent 


with the theory of another. That the Bible is not, in 
any sense, a scientific treatise again, is simply a truism : 
(who ever supposed that it was ?). Moses writes " the 
history of the Human Eace as regards Sin and Sal- 
vation: not a cosmical survey of all the successive 
phenomena of the globe k ." Further, that he employs 
popular phraseology when speaking of natural pheno- 
mena, is a statement altogether undeniable. But such 
remarks are a gross fallacy, and a mere deceit, if it 
be meant that the statements in the Bible partake of 
the imperfection of knowledge incident to a rude and 
primitive state of society. To revive an old illustra- 
tion, Is a philosopher therefore a child, because, in 
addressing children, he uses language adapted to their 
age and capacity ? GOD speaks in the First Chapter 
of Genesis, hath spoken for three and thirty hundred 
years, as unto children : but there is no risk there- 
fore that in what He saith, He either hath deceived, 
or will deceive mankind. 

You are never to forget the great fundamental posi- 
tion, that the Bible claims to be the Word of GOD ; 
and that Gows Word can never contradict or be contra- 
dicted ly GOD'S works. We therefore reject, in limine, 
all insinuations about the " unscientific" character of 
the Bible. A scientific man does not cease to be sci- 
entific because he does not choose always to express 
himself scientifically. Again. A man of universal 
Science does not forfeit his scientific reputation, if, 
in the course of a moral or religious argument, his 
allusions to natural phenomena are expressed in the 
ordinary language of mankind. Even so, Almighty 
GOD, "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom 

k Pattison's The Earth and the World, p. 99. 


and knowledge 1 ," speaking to us by the mouth of 
His holy Prophets, never, that I am aware, teaches 
them to speak a strictly scientific language, except 
when the Science of Theology is being discoursed of. On 
other occasions, He suffers their language to be like 
yours or mine. " Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon m :" 
"The clouds drop down the dew n :" "The wind 
bloweth where it listeth ." Not so when Theology 
is the subject. Then the language becomes scientific. 
" Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the Kingdom of GOD P :" "Take, 
eat, This is My Body q :" "Before Abraham was, 
I am r :" " I and the FATHER are One 8 ." 

But there is this great difference between the cases 
supposed. A man of universal scientific attainment 
will be less strong in one subject than another: and 
in the course of his Geological allusions, if Mechanical 
Science be his forte, in the course of his Metaphysical 
allusions, if. Mathematical Science be his proper depart- 
ment, he may easily err. Above all, the limits of 
the knowledge of unassisted Man must infallibly be 
those of the age in which he lives. But, with the 
Ancient of Days, it is not so. He at least cannot err. 
Nothing that man has ever discovered by laborious 
induction was not known to Him from the beginning : 
nothing that He hath ever commissioned His servants 
to deliver, will be found inconsistent with the anterior 
facts of History. " He that made the eye, shall He 
not see*?' 7 The records of Creation then cannot be 
incorrect. The course of Man's history must be that 

1 Col. ii. 3. m Josh. x. 12. n Prov. iii. 20. 

St. John iii. 8. p St. John iii. 5. 

1 St. Matth. xxvi. 26. r St. John viii. 58. 
* St. John x. 30. * Ps. xciv. 9. 


which, speaking by the mouth of His Prophets, GOD 
hath described. 

" I never said the contrary," is the reply. " All 
I say is that you interpret the records of Creation 
wrongly: and that you are disposed to lay greater 
stress on the historical accuracy of the Bible than the 
narrative will bear." 

but, sir, whoever you may be who censure me 
thus, let me in all kindness warn you of the pit, at the 
very edge whereof you stand ! 

Ear be it from such an one as the preacher to assume 
that he so apprehends the First Chapter of Genesis, 
that if an Angel were to turn interpreter, he might 
not convince me of more than one misapprehension in 
matters of detail. But of this, at least, I am quite 
certain; that when I find it recorded that GOD took 
counsel about Man's Creation : and made him in " His 
own image," and u breathed into his nostrils the breath 
of life," whereby man became "a living soul:" and 
further, when I find it stated that Adam bestowed 
names upon all creatures : and spake oracularly of his 
spouse : I am certain, I say, when I read such things, 
that GOD intended me to believe that Man was created 
with a Godlike understanding, and with the perfect 
fruition of the primaeval speech. Further, I boldly 
assert that he who could prove the contradictory, 
would make the Bible, even as a Theological Book, 
nothing worth, to you and me. 

The same must be said of the Bible chronology. 
And here I will adopt the words of one who is justly 
entitled to be listened to in this place ; and who must 
at least be allowed to be a competent judge of the 
matter, for he made Chronology his province. Mr. 
Clinton says : " Those who imagine themselves at 


liberty to enlarge the time [which elapsed from the. 
Creation to the Deluge, and from the Deluge to the 
Birth of Abraham,] to an indefinite amount, mistake 
the nature of the question. The uncertainty here is 
not an uncertainty arising from want of testimony : 
(like that which occurs in the early chronology of 
Greece, and of many other countries ; when the times 
are uncertain because no evidence is preserved.) . . . 
The uncertainty here is of a peculiar character, be- 
longing to this particular case. The evidence exists, 
but in a double form ; and we have to decide which is 
the authentic and genuine copy. But if the one is 
rejected, the other is established:" the difference be- 
tween the two being exactly 1,250 years. Men are 
free to reject the evidence, to be sure; but we defy 
them to explain it away. The chronological details of 
the Bible are as emphatically set down as anything 
can be ; and, (with the exception of a few particulars, 
chiefly in the Book of Kings, which are to the record 
what misprints are to a printed book,) they are en- 
tirely consistent; and hang perfectly well together. 
Let us not be told, then, that we entertain groundless 
apprehensions for the authority of GOD'S Word when 
we hear it proposed to refer the Creation of Man to 
a period of unheard-of antiquity. Destroy my con- 
fidence in the Bible as an historical record, and you 
destroy my confidence in it altogether ; for by far the 
largest part of the Bible is an historical record. If 
the Creation of Man, the longevity of the Patri- 
archs, the account of the Deluge; if these be not 
true histories, what is to be said of the lives of Abra- 
ham, of Jacob, of Joseph, of Moses, of Joshua, of 
David, of our SAVIOUR CHRIST Himself? 

But there is a scornful spirit abroad which is not 


content to allegorize the earlier pages of the Bible, 
to scoff at the story of the Flood, to reject the out- 
lines of Scripture Chronology ; but which would dis- 
pute the most emphatic details of Eevelation itself. 
Consistent, this method is, at all events. Let it have 
the miserable praise which is so richly its due. To 
logical consistency, it may at least lay claim. It re- 
fuses to stop anywhere : as why should it stop ? Faith 
is denied her office, because Eeason fails to see the rea- 
sonableness of Faith : and accordingly, unbelief enters 
in with a flood-tide. Miracles, for example, are now 
to be classed, (we learn,) among " the difficulties " of 
Christianity u . It was to have been expected. ( Who 
foresees not what must be the fate of such " dif- 
ficulties " as these ?) And will you tell me that you 
may reject the miraculous transactions recorded in 
the Old and New Testaments, and yet retain the nar- 
rative which contains them? That were indeed ab- 
surd ! "Will you then reject one miracle and retain 
another ? Impossible ! You can make no reservation, 
even in favour of the Incarnation of our LORD, the 
most adorable of air miracles, as it is the very key- 
stone of our Christian hope. Either, with the best 
and wisest of all ages, you must believe the whole of 
Holy Scripture ; or, with the narrow-minded infidel, 
you must &believe the whole. There is no middle 
course open to you. 

Do we then undervalue the discoveries of Natural 
Science ; or view with jealousy the progress she has 
of late been making? GOD forbid ! With unfeigned 
joy we welcome her honest triumphs, as so many 
fresh evidences of the wisdom, the power, the good- 
ness of GOD. "Thou, LORD, -hast made me glad 
u On this subject, the reader is referred to Senn. VII. 


through Thy works x !" The very guesses of Geology 
are precious. What are they but noble endeavours 
to unfold a page anterior to the first page of the 
Eible ; or rather, to discover what secrets are locked 
up in the first verse of it? But when, instead of 
being a faithful Servant, Natural Science affects the 
airs of an imperious Mistress, what can she hope to 
incur at the hands of Theology, but displeasure and 
contempt? She forgets her proper place, and over- 
looks her lawful function. She prates about the laws 
of Nature in the presence of Him who, when He 
created the Universe, invented those very laws, and 
impressed them on His irrational creatures. Does it 
never humble her to reflect that it was but yesterday 
she detected the fundamental Law of Gravitation? 
Does she never blush with shame to consider that for 
well nigh six thousand years men have been inquisi- 
tively walking this Earth's surface ; and yet, that, one 
hundred years ago, the prevalent notions concerning 
fossil remains, and the Earth's structure, were such 
as now-a-days would be pronounced incredibly ridi- 
culous and absurd ? 

To conclude. The very phraseology with which 
men have presumed to approach this entire question, 
is insolent and unphilosophical. The popular phrase- 
ology of the day, I say, hardly covers, so as to conceal, 
a lie. "We constantly find SCIENCE and THEOLOGY 
opposed to one another : just as if Theology were not 
a Science ! History forsooth, with all her inaccuracy 
of observation, is a Science: and Geology, with all 
her weak guesses, is a Science : and comparative Ana- 
tomy, with nothing but her laborious inductions to 
boast of, is a Science : but Theology, which is based 
* Ps. xcii. 4. 


on the express revelation of the Eternal, is some 
other thing ! What do you mean to tell us that The- 
ology is, but the very queen of Sciences? Would 
Aristotle have bestowed on Ethic the epithet apxireK- 
rovLKrj, think you, had he known of that Oelos Aoyo?, 
which his friend, "not blind by choice, but des- 
tined not to see 7 / 7 felt after yet found not? that 
"more excellent way," which you and I, by GOD'S 
great mercy, possess ? Go to ! For popular purposes, 
if you will, let the word " Science " stand for the 
knowledge of the phenomena of Nature ; somewhat as, 
in this place, the word stands for the theory of Morals, 
and some of the phenomena of Mind : and so, let 
SCIENCE be contrasted with THEOLOGY, without offence 
taken, because none is intended. But let it never 
be forgotten that Theology is the great Science of all, 
the only Science which really deserves the name. 
What have other sciences to boast of which Theology 
has not? Antiquity, such as no other can, in any 
sense, lay claim to : a Literature, which is absolutely 
without a rival : a Terminology, which reflects the 
very image of all the ages: Professors, of loftier 
wit, from the days of Athanasius and Augustine, 
down to the days of our own Hooker and Butler, 
men of higher mark, intellectually and morally, 
than adorn the annals of any other Science since the 
World began: above all things, a subject-matter, 
which is the grandest imagination can conceive ; and 
a foundation, which has all the breadth, and length, 
and depth and height z , which the Hands of GOD 
Himself could give it. 

For subject-matter, what Science will you compare 
with this ? All the others in the world will not bring 
y Cowper. z Eph. iii. 18. 


a man to the knowledge of GOD and of CHRIST ! They 
will not inform him of the will of GOD, although they 
may teach him to observe His Works. " The Heavens 
declare the glory of GOD," but, as Lord Bacon re- 
marked long since, we do not read that they declare 
His will. Neither do the other sciences of necessity 
lead to any belief at all in the GOD of Eevelation a . 

And, for that whereon they are built, what Science 
again will you compare with this ? Let the pretender 
to Geological skill, (I say not the true Geologist, for 
he never offends !) let the conceited sciolist, I say, go 
dream a little longer over those implements of chipped 
flint which have called him into such noisy activity, 
and discover, as he will discover, that the assumed 
inference from the gravel and the bones is fallacious 
after all b . Let the Historian go spell a little longer 
over that moth-eaten record of dynasties which never 
were, by means of which he proposes to set right the 
clock of Time c . Let the Naturalist walk round the 
stuffed or bleached wonders of his museum, and guess 
again d . Theological Science not so! Her evidence 
is sure, for her Eule is GOD'S Word. No laborious 
Induction here, fallacious because imperfect ; imper- 
fect because human : but a direct message from the 
presence-chamber of the LORD of Heaven and Earth, 
decisive because inspired ; infallible because Divine. 
The express Eevelation of the Eternal is that whereon 
Theological Science builds her fabric of imperishable 

a This paragraph is mostly copied from a Sermon (MS.) preached 
before the University by the late Professor Hussey, Oct. 12, 1856. 

b Professor Phillips refers me to a paper by Mr. Prestwich in the 
Proceedings of the Royal Society, 1859, vol. x. No. 35, p. 58. Also 
in the Transactions of the R. 8. for 1860, p. 308. 

c I allude to the supposed disclosures of Egyptian monuments. 

d I allude to a recent work on the Origin of Species. 


Truth : that fabric which, while other modes change, 
shift, and at last become superseded, shines out, 
yea, and to the very end of Time will shine out, un- 
conscious of decay, incapable of improvement, far, 
far beyond the reach of fashion : a thing unchanged, 
because in its very nature unchangeable e ! 

O sirs, we are constrained to be brief in this place. 
The field must perforce be narrowed ; and so, for this 
time, it must suffice to have warned you against the 
men who resort to the armoury of Natural Science 
for weapons wherewith to assail GOD'S Truth. Re- 
gard them as the enemies of your peace ; and learn 
to reject their specious, yet most inconsequential rea- 
sonings, with the scorn which is properly their due. 
Contempt and scorn GOD implanted in us, precisely 
that we might bestow them on reasonings worthless 
in their texture, and foul in their object, as these ; 
which teach distrust of the earlier pages of GOD'S 
"Word, on the pretence that they are contradicted by 
the evidence of GOD'S Works. Learn to abhor that 
spurious liberality which is liberal only with what is 
not its own ; and which reminds one of nothing so 
much as the conduct of leprous persons who are said 
to be for ever seeking to communicate and extend 
their own unhappy taint to others. I allude to that 
sham liberality which under pretence of extending the 
common standing ground of Christian men, is in reality 
attenuating it until it proves incapable of bearing the 
weight of a single soul. There is room on the Eock 
for all ; but it is only on the Eock that we are safe. 
To speak without a figure, He who surrenders the 
first page of his Bible, surrenders all. He knows not 

e The reader is requested to read what Bishop Pearson has 
most eloquently written on this subject. It will be found in the 
Appendix (B). 


where to stop. Nay, you and I cannot in any way 
afford to surrender the beginning of Genesis ; simply 
because upon the truth of what is there recorded 
depends the whole scheme of Man's salvation, the 
need of that " second Man" which is " the LORD from 
Heaven f ." It is not too much to say that the begin- 
ning of Genesis is the foundation on which all the rest 
of the Bible is built g . We may not go over to those 
who would mutilate the Book of Life, or evacuate any 
part of its message. It is they, on the contrary, who 
must come over to us. Much has it been the fashion 
of these last days, (I cannot imagine why,) to vaunt 
the character and the Gospel of St. John, " the disciple 
of Love," as he is called ; as if it were secretly thought 
that there is a latitudinarianism in Love which would 
wink at Doctrinal obliquity ; whereas St. John is the 
Evangelist of Dogma ; and if there be anything in the 
world which is jealous, that thing is Love. Indiffer- 
ence to Truth, and laxity of Belief, are the grow- 
ing characteristics of the age. But you will find that 
St. John has about four or five times as much about 
TRUTH as all the other three Evangelists ; while the act 
of Faith receives as frequent mention in his writings 
alone as in all the rest of the New Testament Canon 
put together h . 

Let me end, as the manner of preachers is, by 
gathering out of what has been spoken one brief prac- 
tical consideration. This whole visible frame of things 
wherein we play our part, is hastening to decay. 
Everything we behold, ourselves included, carries 

f 1 Cor. xv. 47. g Ibid. xv. 22, &c. 

h Hums does not occur once in St. John's Gospel : Tria-reixo (which, 
is found about thirty-five times, in all, in the first three Gospels,) 
occurs about one hundred times, in the Gospel of St. John alone. 



with it the prophecy of its own speedy dissolution. 
What, amid the wreck of worlds, will be our con- 
fidence ? ... It is an inquiry worth making, in these 
the days of health, and vigour, and security, and 
peace. O my soul, (learn to ask yourselves,) my 
soul, when the Heavens shall depart, and the Earth 
reel before the Second Advent of its Maker; when 
the Sun puts on mourning, and the very powers of 
Heaven are shaken ; what shall be our confidence, 
our hope, in that tremendous day? Whither shall 
we betake ourselves, amid the overthrow of universal 
Nature, but to the sure mercies of Him who u in the 
beginning created the Heaven and the Earth ?" To 
those strong Hands, we intend, (Goo helping us !) 
with unswerving confidence to commend our fainting 
spirits 1 . . . . Him, then, in life let us learn to reve- 
rence, on whom in death we propose so implicitly to 
lean ! And we only know Him in, and through, and 
by His WORD. Nor can we in any surer way shew 
Him reverence or dishonour, than by the manner in 
which we receive His message, yea, by the spirit in 
which we unfold this, the first page of it, where 
stands recorded that primaeval act of Almighty power 
which is the ground of all our confidence, the very 
warrant for our own security. . . . " Blessed" of a 
truth, in that day, will he be, "that hath the GOD 
of Jacob for his help, and whose hope is in the LORD 
his GOD : who made the Heaven and the Earth, the 
Sea and all that therein is: who keepeth His promise 
for ever k !" 

* St. Luke xxiii. 46, (quoting Ps. xxxi. 5:) words which are 
alluded to in 1 St. Pet. iv. 19. 

k Ps. cxlvi. 5, words quoted by the early Church of Jerusalem, 
Acts iv. 24. 



2 TIM. iii. 16. 
All Scripture is given by inspiration of GOD. 

T)UT that is not exactly what St. Paul says. The 
^ Greek for that, would be Trao-a 'H ypa^rj not 
Tracra ypa(f>r) QeoTrisevaro?. St. Paul does not say 
that the whole of Scripture, collectively, is inspired. 
More than that : what he says is, that every writing, 
every several look of those lepa ypa^ara^ or Holy 
Scriptures, in which Timothy had been instructed 
from his childhood, is inspired by GoD b . It comes 
to very nearly the same thing; but it is not quite 
the same thing. St. Paul is careful to remind us that 
every Book in the Bible is an inspired Book c . And 

a Preached in Christ-Church Cathedral, 25th Nov. 1860. 

b Uaa-ai at 0eo7ri/eucrroi ypcxpai, as it is worded in the Epistle sent 
by the Council of Antioch in the case of Paul of Samosata, A.D. 269. 
(Routh Reliqq. iii. 292.) See Middleton on the Greek Article, 
(Rose's ed.) in loc. And so, in effect, "Wordsworth and Ellicott. 
It is right to add that it has been contended that Tracra ypcxpt) = 
" the whole of Scripture." See Lee on Inspiration, p. 263, (note.) 
So Athanasius seems to have taken it: Uda-a f) *a0' f^as ypa<pri, 
TraXaia re *ai Kaivrj, OfOTrvtvo-ros eVri. (Ep. ad Mar cell. i. 982.) 

c That QeoTTvcvo-Tos is the predicate, seems sufficiently obvious. 
So Athanasius, in the passage above quoted. So Gregory of Nyssa : 
dia TOVTO Traaa ypatyfj OfoirvevaTos Xt'yerat, 6ia TO rrjs Ocias t'/ 


this statement is not confined to one place. Else- 
where, he calls his message "the Word of GOD;" 
and says that it had been received by the disciples 
not as the Word of Men, but as it is in truth, the 
Word of GoD d . Elsewhere, "Which things also we 
speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, 
but which the HOLY GHOST teacheth 6 :" where, if 
I at all understand the Apostle, (and he speaks very 
plainly !) he says that his words were inspired by the 
HOLY GHOST. Accordingly, St. Peter declares that 
the Epistles of his " beloved brother Paul" are part 
of the Holy Scriptures f ; Divinely inspired, there- 
fore, like all the rest. 

But does not St. Paul himself in a certain place 
express a doubt saying "/ think that I have the 
Spirit of Goo g ?" and does he not contrast his own 
sayings with the Divine sayings, ("not I but the 

didao-Ka\iav. (Contr. Eunom. Orat. YI. ii. 605.) Amphilochius, 
[Bishop of Iconium, quotes the place in the same way. Basil also, 
saying Ilacra ypacprj deofrvevo-ros Kal ax^eAi^ios, dia roCro (rvyypa(pe'i(ra 
iraparov Uvevfjiaros, (Horn. in Psalm. I. i. 90,) clearly adopts the con- 
struction assumed in the text. Ambrose (I)e Spir. Sancto, lib. II. 
c. 16.ii. 688,) says, "In Scriptura Divina, QeoTrvevo-ros omnis ex hoc 
dicitur, quod Deus inspiret quse locutus est Spiritus." (The above 
are from Lee on Inspiration, which see, pp. 260, 493, 599.) Tertul- 
lian (quoted by Tisch.) says, "Legimus omnem Scripturam aedifica- 
tioni habilem, divinitus inspirari." A few modern scholars have 
suggested that Oeoirv. may be an epithet, not a predicate. The doc- 
trine will remain the same either way ; for the meaning of the place 
can only be, "Every Scripture, leing inspired, is also profitable," &c. 
This is Origen's view : but his criticism is not in point, inasmuch 
as he read the text differently, (omitting the /cat.) Lee aptly com- 
pares the construction of, nav Krio-^a Qeov Ka\bv, KOI ovdev dir6p\r)Tov. 
(1 Tim. iv. 4.) 

d 1 Thess. ii. 13. e 1 Cor. ii. 13. 

f 2 St. Pet. iii. 16, where see Wordsworth. 

* 1 Cor. vii. 40. 


LORD**"), clearly implying that his own were not 
Divine ? and does he not say that he delivers certain 
things "by permission, and not of commandment 1 ," 
whereby he seems to insinuate a gradation of autho- 
rity in what he delivers? No. Not one of these 
things does he do. He says, indeed, of a certain hint 
to married persons that he offers it " by way of advice 
to them not by way of precept:" but giving advice 
to men is a very different thing from receiving per- 
mission from GOD. Again, "Unto the married," (he 
says,) "I command, yet not I but the LORD," al- 
luding to our LORD'S words, as set down by St. Mat- 
thew, chap. xix. verse 6 k ; which is simply an histo- 
rical allusion to the Gospel. So far from " thinking" 
he had the Spirit of GOD, (as if it were an open ques- 
tion whether he had it or not,) he says the very con- 
trary. AoKftt; in all such places, implies, not doubt 
\>Vii certainty 1 : (as when our LORD asks, "Doth he 
thank that servant because he did the things com- 
manded him ? ov o/cc3," I fancy not indeed m !) On 
St. Paul's lips, as every scholar knows, the phrase is 
not one of doubt, but one of indignant, or at least 
emphatic asseveration 11 . A man had need be very 
sure he understands the record, (let me just remark in 
passing,) before he presumes to criticize it. 

" The Spirit of CHRIST" is said by St. Peter to have 

h 1 Cor. vii. 10. 

1 1 Cor. vil. 6. (ToCro Se Xe-yo) Kara a~vyyv6}p.r]V 1 ov Kar* eVtrayTyi/.) 

k St. Matth. xix. 6 (= St. Mark x. 9 :) and the following places, 
St. Matth. v. 32 : xix. 9 (=St.Markx. 11, 12.): St.Lnkexvi. 18. 

1 Montfaucon, prcsf. ad Euseb. Comm. in Psalm. , cap. x. See also 
^Esch. Prom. V. v. 289. 

m St. Luke xvii. 9. So St. Mark x. 42. St. Luke viii. 18. 
St. John v. 39. 

n Comp. 1 Cor. iv. 9 : Gal. ii. 9 : Heb. iv. 1. 


been "in the prophets :" and in another place he de- 
clares that they "spake as they were moved by the HOLY 
GHOST*." The HOLY GHOST accordingly is said to 
have spoken the xlist Psalm "by the mouth of 
David q ." The xcvth Psalm is declared absolutely to 
be the utterance of the HOLY GHOST r . Once, the cxth 
Psalm is ascribed simply to GOD s ; and once, to David 
speaking under the influence of the HOLT GHOST*. The 
iind Psalm is described as the language of GOD the 
FATHER "by the mouth of His Servant David u ." 
" Well spake the HOLY GHOST by Esaias the Prophet 
unto our Fathers x ," was the exclamation of the 
Apostle Paul, quoting the 9th and 10th verses of his 
vith chapter. When Jeremiah speaks, the HOLY GHOST 
is declared, (not Jeremiah, but the HOLY GHOST) to wit- 
ness unto us y . The assertion is express that it was 
"Goo" who, "by the mouth of all His Prophets" foretold 
the Death of CHRIST z : " the LORD GOD of Israel" who, 
" by the mouth of His holy Prophets of old" gave pro- 
mise of CHRIST'S coming a . " The HOLY GHOST signified" 

To ev avTots Tlvevpa Xpicrrov. 1 St. Pet. i. 11. 

p viro Tlvev/Jiaros 'Ayiov (pepofjifvoi \d\r)o~av oi ayioi Qeov av6puiroi.~ 
2 St. Pet. i. 21. (lit. "impelled, "like a ship before the wind.) 

1 Trpoewre TO Hvevpa TO "Ayiov 8ta oro/xaros Aa/3i8. Acts i. 16. 
r Kadtos Ae-yei TO Tlvevpa TO *A.yiov. Heb. iii. 7. 

s VTTO TOV &OV. Heb. V. 10. 

* AajSiS eiTTfv fv T< Ili/ev/icm r<a 'Ay /a). St. Mark xii. 36. 

u 6 8eos 6 7roif)o-as TOV ovpavbv KOI rr\v yr\v KOI TTJV 6a\ao-crav KOI irdiva 
ra fv aurotff, 6 8ia (rro/Liaros Aa/3iS TOV TratSos o~ov tlrroav. Acts IV. 24, 25. 

x TO Hvevpa TO "Aytov eXdXiyo-e 8ia 'ttaatov TOV 7rpo<f)T)Tov. Acts 
xxviii. 25. 

y fjLapTvpfi 8e T)fjuv Kal TO Uvevp.a TO *Kyiov Heb. X. 15, quoting 
Jer. xxxi. 33, 34, 

6 Se cos .... irpoKa.Tf)yyei\ dia OTo/xaros Trdvrav Ta>v 7Tpo<pr)Ta>v 
avTOv rradelv TOV Xpio~Tov. Acts iii. 18. 

a Kvpios 6 Qfbs TOV 'lo-paf]\ .... \d\rjo-c dia (rro/xaros TO>V dyiuv TO>V 
air alo>vos Trpo<pr]Ta>v auroC. St. Luke i. 68, 70. 


what the Mosaic Law enjoined b . "It is not ye that 
speak, but the HOLY GHOST*" was our SAVIOUR'S 
word of promise and of consolation to the Twelve : 
and, on an earlier occasion, " It is not ye that speak ; 
but the SPIRIT of your Father, which speaJceth in you d ." 
And this promise became so famous, that St. Paul 
says the Corinthians challenged him to prove that 
CHRIST was speaking in him 6 . . . . But why multiply 
places? The use which our SAVIOUR makes in the 
New Testament of the words of the Old, from the 
writings of Moses to the writings of Malachi, would 
be simply nugatory unless those words were much 
more than human. And the record of the Apostle is 
express and emphatic : " All Scripture every Book 
of the Bible, is given ~by Inspiration of GOD." In 
the face of such testimony, by the way, we deem it 
not a little extraordinary to be assured (by an indi- 
vidual who has acquired considerable notoriety within 
the last few months) that "for any of the higher or 
supernatural views of Inspiration there is no founda- 
tion in the Gospels or Epistles V 

Strange to say, there is a marvellous indisposition 
in Man to admit the notion of such a heaven-sent 
message. Not to dispute with those who deny Inspi- 
ration altogether, (for that would be endless,) there 
are many, and, we fear, a daily increasing number 
of persons, who, admitting Inspiration in terms, yet 
so mutilate the notion of it, that their admission be- 

b TOVTO $T]\OVVTOS TOV HvcvpaTOs TOV 'Ayi'ou. Heb. ix. 8. 
c oi> yap fare {/pels ot \a\ovvrcs, dXXa TO Hvevp-a TO "Ayiov. St. Mark 
xiii. 11. 

d ov yap vfMfls fare 01 XaXouwrey, aXXa TO Ili/eC/ua TOV IlaTpos vp.S>v TO 
XaXoCi/ eV vp.1v. St. Matth. x. 20. 

e eVei $OKip.r)V ^riirc TOV ev e/iol XaXovvTOS XpioroO. 2 Cor. Xlii. 3. 

f Kev. B. Jowett, in E. and R. t p. 345. Yet see Acts iii. 18, 21. 


comes a practical lie. " St. Paul was inspired, no doubt. 
So was Shakspeare." He who says this, intending 
no quibble, declares that in his belief St. Paul was 
not inspired at alL 

But this is a monstrous case, with which I will not 
waste your time. Far more numerous are they, who, 
admitting that the Authors of the Bible were inspired 
in quite a different sense from Homer and Dante, are 
yet for modifying and qualifying this admission after 
so many strange and arbitrary fashions, that the resi- 
duum of their belief is really worth very little. One 
man has a mental reservation of exclusion in favour of 
the two Books of Chronicles, or the Book of Esther, 
or of Daniel. Another, is content to eliminate from 
the Bible those passages which seem to him to run 
counter to the decrees of physical Science ; the His- 
tory of the Six Days of Creation, of the Flood, of 
the destruction of Sodom, and of Joshua's address to 
Sun and Moon. Another regards it as self-evident 
that nothing is trustworthy which savours supremely 
of the marvellous; as the Temptation of our first 
Parents, the Manna in the "Wilderness, Balaam re- 
proved by the dumb ass, and the history of Jonah. 
There are others who cannot tolerate the Miracles of 
the Old and the New Testament. The more timid, 
explain away as much of them as they dare. What 
remains, troubles them. The more logical sweep them 
away altogether. A miracle (they say) cannot be true 
because it implies a violation of the fixed and im- 
mutable laws of Nature. 

And then, (so strangely constituted are some men's 
minds,) there are not a few persons who, without 
exactly denying the inspiration of the Bible in any of 
its more marvellous portions, (for that would be an 


inconvenient proceeding,) are yet content to regard 
much of it as a kind of inspired myth. This is a class 
of ally (?) with whom one really knows not how to 
deal. The man does not reason. He assumes his 
right to disbelieve, and yet will not allow that he is 
an unbeliever. The world is singularly indulgent 
toward persons of this unphilosophical, illogical, pre- 
sumptuous class. 

Now, I shall have something to say to all these 
different kinds of objectors, on some subsequent occa- 
sion. But I shall be rendering the younger men 
a far more important service if to-day I address my 
remarks to a different class of objectors altogether : 
that far larger body, I mean, who without at all de- 
siring to impugn the Inspiration of GOD'S Oracles, yet 
make no secret of their belief that the Bible is full of 
inaccuracies and misstatements. These men ascribe 
a truly liberal amount of human infirmity to the 
Authors of the several Books of the Bible ; slips of 
memory, misconceptions, imperfect intelligence, partial 
illumination, and so forth; and, under one or other 
of those heads, include whatever they are themselves 
disposed to reject. The writers who come in for the 
largest share of this indulgence, are the Evangelists ; 
because the Historians of our LORD'S life, having hap- 
pily left us four versions of the same story, and often 
three versions of the same transaction, the evidence 
whereby they may be convicted of error is in the 
hands of all. Truly, mankind has not been slow to 
avail itself of the opportunity. You will seldom hear 
a Gospel difficulty discussed, without a quiet assump- 
tion on the part of the Eeverend gentleman that he 
knows all about the matter in question, but that the 
Evangelist did not. His usual method is, calmly to 


inform us that it is useless to look for strict con- 
sistency in matters of minute detail; that general 
agreement between the four Evangelists there does 
exist, and that ought to be enough. The inevitable in- 
ference from his manner of handling the Gospels, is, 
that if his actual thoughts could find candid expression, 
we should hear him address their blessed authors some- 
what as follows: "You are four highly respectable 
characters, no doubt; and you mean well. But it 
cannot be expected that persons of your condition in 
life should have described so many intricate trans- 
actions so minutely without making blunders. I do 
not say it unkindly. I often make blunders myself, 
/, who have a " clearness of understanding," " a power 
of discrimination between different kinds of Truth g " 
unknown to the Apostolic Age !" . . . Of course the 
preacher does not say all this. He has too keen 
a sense of " the dignity of the pulpit." And so he 
puts it somewhat thus : " While we are disposed to 
recognize substantial agreement, and general con- 
formity in respect of details, among the synoptical 
witnesses, in their leading external outlines, we are 
yet constrained to withhold our unqualified accept- 
ance of any theory of Inspiration which should claim 
for these compilers exemption from the oscitancy, and 
generally from the infirmities of humanity." . . . This 
sounds fine, you know ; and is thought an ingenious 
way of wrapping up the charge which the Eeverend 
preacher brings against the Evangelists ; of having, 
in plain terms, made blunders. 

It will be convenient that we should narrow the 
ground to this single issue: for the time is short. 
And in the remarks I am about to offer, I shall not 

e Dr. Temple, in Essays and Reviews, p. 25. 


imitate the example of those preachers who dress out 
an easy thought in a superfluity of inflated language, 
only in order that its deformity may escape detection. 
Be not surprised if I speak to you this morning in 
uncommonly plain English ; for I am determined that 
the simplest person present shall understand at least 
what / mean. The dignity of the Blessed Evangelists, 
who walked with JESUS, and whom JESUS loved, the 
dignity of that Gospel which I believe to be pene- 
trated through and through with the Holy Spirit of 
GOD, for that, I confess to a most unbounded jealousy. 
As for the " dignity of the pulpit," I hate the very 
phrase ! It has been made too often the shield of 
impiety and the cloak of dulness. 

To begin, then, Is it, I would ask you, a reason- 
able anticipation that the narrative of one inspired 
by GOD would prove full of inconsistencies, misstate- 
ments, slips of memory : or indeed, that it should 
contain any misstatements, any inaccuracies at all? 
"What then is the difference between an inspired and 
an uninspired writing, the "Word of GOD and the 
Word of Man? 

The answer which I shall receive, is obvious. As 
a matter of fact (it is replied) there are these in- 
accuracies : that is, the same transaction is described 
by two or more writers, and their accounts prove in- 
consistent. Thus, St. Matthew begins his account of 
the healing of the blind at Jericho, with the words, 
"And as they were going out of Jericho:" but 
St. Luke, " While He was drawing nigh to Jericho." 
There are these slips of memory ; as when St. Matthew 
ascribes to " Jeremy the prophet" words which are 
found in the prophet Zechariah. There are these 
misstatements, as where the Census of the Nativity 


is said to have taken place under the presidentship of 
Cyrenius. And these are but samples of a mighty 
class of difficulties, (it is urged :) the two Genealo- 
gies; the Call of the four Disciples; the healing of 
the Centurion's servant ; the title on the Cross ; the 
history of the Eesurrection : and again, "the six- 
teenth of Tiberius;" "the days of Abiathar;" with 
many others. Let me then briefly discuss the three 
examples first cited, which really came spontaner 
ously. Each is the type of a class ; and the answer 
to one is, in reality, applicable to all the rest. I humbly 
ask for your patience and attention ; promising that 
I will abuse neither, though I must tax both. 

The great fundamental truth to be first laid down, 
is this, that the Gospels are not four but one. The 
Ancients knew this very well. EuayyeA^crrai peis 
recrcrapes, EuayyeAtoy e ev says Origen h : " the 
Gospel-writers are four, but the Gospel is one." 
And the ancients recorded this mighty verity four 
times over on the first page of the Gospel, lest it 
should ever be forgotten ; and there it stands to this 
day : the Gospel, the one Gospel Kara, according 
to St. Matthew, according to St. Mark, according 
to St. Luke, according to St. John. Like that river 
which went out of Eden to water the Garden, it was 
by the HOLY GHOST " parted, and became into four 
heads." The Gospels therefore, (to call them by 
their common name,) are not to be regarded as four 
witnesses, or rather as four culprits, brought up on 
a charge of fraud. Eather are they Angelic voices 
singing in sweetest harmony, but after a method of 
Heavenly counterpoint which must be studied before 
it can be understood of Men. 

h Contra Marcion, sect. I. p. 9. 


And next, There is one great principle, and one 
only, which needs to be borne in mind for the effec- 
tual reconciliation of every discrepancy which the four 
narratives present : namely, that you should approach 
them in exactly the same spirit in which you ap- 
proach the statement of any man of honour of your 
acquaintance. Whether the Apostles of the LAMB, 
men whom we believe to have been inspired by the 
Holy Spirit of the Everlasting GOD, are not entitled 
to far higher respect, far higher consideration, at our 
hands, I leave you to decide. As one whose joy 
and crown it has been to weigh every word in the 
Gospel in hair-scales, I am prepared to risk the issue. 
Be only as fair to the four Evangelists as you are 
to one another; and I am quite confident about the 

I appeal to the experience of every thoughtful man 
among you who has at all given his mind to the sub- 
ject of evidence, whether it be not the fact, (1st) 
That when two or more persons are giving true ver- 
sions of the same incident, their accounts will some- 
times differ so considerably, that it will seem at first 
sight as if they could not possibly be reconciled : and 
yet (2ndly), That a single word of explanation, the 
discovery of one minute circumstance, perfectly na- 
tural when we hear it stated, yet most unlikely and 
unlooked-for, will often suffice to remove the diffi- 
culty which before seemed unsurmountable ; and fur- 
ther, that when this has been done, the entire con- 
sistency of the several accounts becomes apparent ; 
while the harmony which is established is often of the 
most beautiful nature. (3rdly) That when (for what- 
ever reason) two or more versions of the same inci- 
dent are not correct, no ingenuity can ever possibly 


reconcile them, as they stand. They lean apart in 
hopeless divergence. In other words, they contradict 
one another. 

Now, these principles are fully admitted in daily 
life. If your friend comes to you with ever so im- 
probable a tale, the last thing which enters into your 
mind is to disbelieve him. Is he in earnest ? Yes, 
on his honour. Is he sure he is not mistaken ? That 
very doubt of yours requires an apology : but your 
friend says, " I am as sure as I am of my existence." 
" Give it me under your hand and seal then." Your 
friend begins to suspect your sanity ; but the matter 
being of some importance, he complies. " It must be 
so then," you exclaim, " though I cannot understand 
it." .... I only wish that men would be as fair to 
the Evangelists as they are to their friends ! 

You are requested to observe, for really you must 
admit, that any possible solution of a difficulty, how- 
ever improbable it may seem, any possible explanation 
of the story of a competent witness, is enough logi- 
cally and morally to exempt that man from the im- 
putation of an incorrect statement. The illustration 
which first presents itself may require an apology; 
but the dignity of the pulpit shall not outweigh the 
dignity of His Gospel after whose blessed Name this 
House is called 1 : and I can think of nothing as ap- 
posite as what follows. 

It is a conceivable case, that, hereafter, three per- 
sons of known truthfulness should meet, in a Court 
of Justice at the Antipodes ; where the entire difficulty 
should turn on a question of time. The case is con- 
ceivable, that the first should be heard to declare that 
at Oxford, on such a day, of such a year, he had seen 

1 See the first foot-note, p. 53. 


such an one standing before Carfax Church while the 
clock was striking one : that the second should declare 
that he also, on the same day of the same year, had 
seen the same person passing by St. Mary's, when the 
clock of that Church was also striking one : that the 
third should stand up and assert, " I also saw the 
same person on that same day, but it was on the steps 
of the Cathedral I met him ; and I also remember 
hearing the clock at that moment strike one." Now 
I can conceive that the result of such evidence would 
be adverted upon in some such way as the following : 
a While we are disposed to recognize the sub- 
stantial agreement, and general conformity in respect 
of details, among the synoptical witnesses, in their 
leading external outlines, we are yet constrained," 
and the rest of the impertinence we had before. 
"Whereas you and I know perfectly that the three 
clocks in question were, till lately, kept five minutes 
apart: a sufficient interval, (I beg you to observe in 
passing,) for the individual in question to have been 
seen by you walking in an easterly direction ; and by 
me due west ; and by a third person, due east again. 
Highly improbable circumstances, I freely grant, 
every one of them ; and yet, by the hypothesis, all 
perfectly true ! Meantime, it is conceivable that 
Judge and jury would have the indecency openly to 
tax the three men I spoke of with inexactitude in 
their statements: and it is conceivable that those 
three honest men (the only true men, it might be, 
in the Colony, after all,) would carry to their grave 
the imputation of untruth. Here and there, a gene- 
rous heart would be found to say to them, /share 
not in the vulgar cry against you ! / nothing doubt 
that it all fell out precisely as you assert. Either, 


the clocks in Oxford went wrong that day ; or there 
had been some trick played with the clocks ; any 
how, / believe you, for I have evidence that you are 
marvellously exact in all your little statements ; and 
you cannot have been mistaken in a plain matter 
like this. I have heard too that you are not the 

ordinary men you seem The men make no 

answer. They care nothing for your opinion, and my 
opinion. The rashness of mankind may astonish the 
Angels perhaps ; but the Apostles and Evangelists of 
CHRIST are already safe within the veil ! 

The difficulty supposed is not an imaginary one. 
St. John says that when Pilate sat in judgment on 
the LORD of Glory, "it was about the sixth hour j ." 
But since St. Mark says that at the third hour they 
crucified Him k , the two statements seem inconsis- 
tent. The ancients, (giants at interpretation, babes 
in criticism,) altered the text. Peter, Bishop of Alex- 
andria, A.D. 300, says that he had seen it in the very 
autograph of St. John 1 . A learned man of our own, 
however, a hundred years ago, ascertained that, in the 
Patriarchate of Ephesus, the hours were not com- 
puted after the Jewish method : but, (strange to say,) 
exactly after our own English method. And yet, not 
so strange either ; for the Gospel first came to us 
from there. You see at a glance that all the four 
mentions of time of day in St. John n , which used to 
occasion so much difficulty, become beautifully in- 
telligible at once. 

j St. John xix. 14. k St. Mark xv. 25. 

1 The passage may be seen in -John Bois' Vet. Interpretis cum 
Heza aliisque recentioribus collatio, (1655,) p. 333. 

m See a Dissertation by Dr. Townson at the end of his admirable 
book on the Gospels. 

n Yiz. St. John i. 39 : iv. 6, 52 : xix. 14. 


To come then to the three samples of difficulty 
propounded a moment ago. And first, for the blind 
men of Jericho. 

I. The difficulty lies all on the surface. Listen 
to a plain tale. 

Our SAVIOUR, attended by His Disciples and fol- 
lowed by a vast concourse of persons, had reached 
the outskirts of Jericho. A certain blind man was 
sitting by the roadside begging. He heard the noise 
of a passing crowd, and inquired what it meant ? He 
was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 
He rose at once, hastened down the main street 
through which, in due time, CHRIST perforce must 
come ; joined another blind man, (named Bartimseus, 
a well-known character, who, like himself, was ac- 
customed to sit and beg by the road side ;) and the 
two companions in suffering, having stationed them- 
selves at the exit of Jericho, waited till the Great 
Physician should appear. 

The crowd begins to approach ; and the two blind 
men implore the Son of David to have pity on them. 
So importunate is their suit, that the foremost of the 
passers-by rebuke them. The men grow more urgent. 
Our SAVIOUR pauses, and orders that they shall be 
called. At this gracious summons, both draw near; 
the more remarkable applicant flinging his outer gar- 
ment from him as he rises from his seat; but both, 
when they appear in our SAVIOUR'S presence, making 
the same request. The Holy One, touched with com- 
passion, laid His Hands upon their eyes, and grants 
their prayer: whereupon they both follow Him in 
the way. 

Well, (you will ask,) what then ? " What then ?" 
I answer. Then there is no difficulty in the three 



accounts about which you spoke so unbecomingly a 
moment ago. Assume this plain, and not at all im- 
probable version of the incident, to be true, and you 
will find that no difficulty remains whatever. Every 
recorded circumstance is accounted for, and fits in 
exactly with it. I wish there were time to enlarge 
on some of the details, and to make some remarks on 
the manner of the Evangelists in relating events : but 
there is no time. Besides, without a huge copy of 
the Gospel open before us all, I could not hope to 
make my meaning understood. 

For of course you are to believe that he who would 
understand the Gospel must first study it. You must 
ascertain, by some crucial test, confirmed by a large 
and careful induction, what the character of a narra- 
tive purporting to be inspired, is. You have no right 
first to assume exactly what Inspiration shall result 
in, and then to deny that there is Inspiration be- 
cause you fail to discover your assumed result . That 
were foolish. 

I shall perhaps be thought to lay myself open to the 
rejoinder, " Neither have you any right to assume 
that Inspiration will result in Infallibility." But 
the retort is without real point. I do but assert that, 
just as every man of honour claims to be believed 
until he has been convicted of a falsehood, inspired 
Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles have a right to 
our entire confidence in the scrupulous accuracy of 
every word they deliver, until it can be shewn that 
they have once made a mistake. 

If you will take the trouble to compare any of the 

And yet, we hear it asserted that we cannot " suppose the Spirit 
of absolute Truth" "to suggest accounts only to be reconciled in 
the way of hypothesis and conjecture." J7. and R., p. 179. 


cases, in Genesis for example, where a conversa- 
tion is first set down, and then reported by one of the 
speakers, you will find that it is deemed allowable 
to omit or to add clauses, even when the discourse 
is related in the first person p . Something before in- 
serted, is withheld : or something before withheld, is 
inserted. No discourse was probably ever set down, 
word for word, as it was delivered. In sacred, as in 
profane writings, the exact substance, or rather, the 
real purport, of what was spoken, very reasonably 
stands for what was actually spoken. The differ- 
ence is this ; that a narrative, by man abridged, 
may convey a wrong impression : whereas an inspired 
abridgement of any history soever cannot mislead. 

Other characteristics of an inspired narrative, the 
lesser Laws of the Divine Harmony, as they may be 
called, will be discovered by the attentive reader. 
For example, that intervening circumstances are often 
passed over, without any notice taken of them what- 
ever: while yet it is singular how often the Evan- 
gelist shews himself conscious of what he omits by 
some very minute allusion to it q . This must suffice 
however. It would require a whole sermon, a whole 
volume rather, to enumerate all the features of the 
Evangelical method. 

P E.g. Gen. xxiv. 2 8, compared with ver. 37 41 ; and again, 
ver. 12 14, compared with ver. 42 44. Again, Gen. xlii. 10 13, 
compared with ver. 31, 32 : and again, ver. 14 16, compared with 
ver. 33, 34. Again, Gen. xlii. 36 8, compared with xliv. 27 29, 
&c., &c., &G. 

i Instances of this will be very familiar to every attentive student 
of the Gospels. Thus St. Matth. xxvi. 68 implies acquaintance 
with a minute circumstance which is stated in St. Luke xxii. 64 : 
St. llatth. x. 13 implies what is expressed in St. Luke x. 5, &c., 
&c., &c. 


II. The next sample of difficulty will not occupy 
us long. St. Matthew is charged with a bad memory, 
because he ascribes to " Jeremy the prophet r " words 
which are said to be found in Zechariah. Strange 
that men should be heard to differ about a plain mat- 
ter of fact ! / have never been able to find these 
words in Zechariah yet ! . . . There are words some- 
thing like them, but not those very words, by any 
means, in Zech. xi. 12. "Why then is St. Mat- 
thew to be taxed with a bad memory? Are there 
not other prophecies quoted in the New Testament 
not to be found in the Old ? Yes s . Is not the self- 
same prophecy sometimes found in two different pro- 
phets, as in Isaiah and Nahum? Yes*. Are not 
some prophetic passages common to Jeremiah and Zecha- 
riah ? Yes u . The Jews even had a saying that the 
Spirit of the one was in the other. Where then re- 
mains a pretence for supposing that St. Matthew was 
troubled with a bad memory ? 

III. So, it is generally assumed that St. Luke made 
a mistake when he said that the census of the Nativity 
was made when Cyrenius was President of Syria, 
because not Cyrenius but Varus is known to have 
been President about that time. Now, there are 
three fair conjectures, each of which is sufficient to 
meet this difficulty : but instead of developing them, 
I will simply remind you of a minute circumstance 
in Jewish story which shews how dangerous it is to 
press a general fact against a particular statement. 

r St. Matth. xxvii. 9. 8 E.g. St. Jude ver. 14, 15. 

* Is. lii. 7, and Nahum i. 15. Is. ii. 2, 3, 4, and Micah iv. 1, 
2, 3. Micah iv. 6, and Zeph. iii. 19. Is. xi. 9, and Hab. ii. 14. 
Micah iii. 12, and Jer. xxvi. 18, &<?., &c. 

u E.g. Jer. xxiii. 5 and Zcch. vi. 13. 


In the year 4 B.C., Matthias was undeniably the Jewish 
High-priest. Now, if St. Luke, describing the events 
of a certain day in September, B.C. 4, had recorded 
that the High -priest's name was Joseph, you would 
have thought him guilty of a misstatement : but the 
error would have been all your own, for it has been 
discovered that a person bearing that name held the 
office of High-priest for one single day, namely, the 
10th of Tisri. . . . "A very unlikely circumstance!" 
you will exclaim. yes, a very unlikely circumstance 
indeed: but, you will have the kindness to observe 
that that is not exactly the point in question. 

Why then are difficulties of this, or of any kind, 
permitted in the Gospel at all ? it may be asked. 
I answer, that they may prove instruments of pro- 
bation to you and to me. The sensualist has his trials ; 
and the ambitious man, his. The difficulties in Holy 
Scripture, which are numerous, and diverse, and 
considerable, are admirable tests of the moral, the 
spiritual, the intellectual temper of Man x . Expe- 
rience shews moreover that some of the minutest 
discrepancies of all, if they be but of a character al- 
most hopeless, are more potent to create perplexity 
in minds of a certain constitution, than the gravest 
doubts which ever burthened the soul of Speculation. 

I have confined myself to one class of objections, 
for an obvious reason. Difficulties which arise out 
of the matter of Scripture, as it is emphatically em- 
bodied in quotations from the Old Testament made in 
the New, must be separately considered in one or 
more Sermons on Interpretation, I must be content 
to-day with repudiating, in the most unqualified way, 

* See Appendix (C). 


the notion that a mistake of any kind whatever is con- 
sistent with the texture of a narrative inspired by the 
Holy Spirit of GOD. The allusion in St. Stephen's 
speech to "the sepulchre that Abraham bought for 
a sum of money of the sons of Emmor, the son" (not 
the father ', but the son) " of Sychem," is a good ex- 
ample of confusion apparently existing in an inspired 
speaker ; but, in reality, only in the writings of those 
who have sat in judgment upon his words y . 

To keep to the case of the Evangelists, I appeal 
to your sense of fairness, whether it be not reasonable 
to assume, that until those blessed writers have been 
convicted of one single inaccuracy of statement, their 
narratives ought to be accounted faultless, like Him 
whose Life they record; like Him by whose Spirit they 
are inspired. I would to Heaven that men would have 
the decency to suspect themselves, and one another, 
rather than the Evangelists, of mistake ; or at least, 
before they venture publicly to impugn the Authors 
of the Everlasting Gospel, that they would be at the 
pains to weigh the evidence with the care that evi- 
dence deserves, but which I am sure that sermon- 
writers and essayists do not bestow. Let them spend 
the long summer days of many a Long Vacation 
from early morning until twilight, dissecting every 
syllable of the blessed pages; and then they will 
learn to adore instead of to cavil. They will deem 
them absolutely faultless, instead of daring to charge 
all their own pitiful misconceptions, and weak mis- 
apprehensions, and miserable blunders, upon them. 
They will be inclined, rather, to challenge the 
world to establish one blot in what they love so well ; 

y See Appendix (D). 


and would gladly stake all upon the issue of a conflict 
before a fair tribunal, if submission might follow 
upon defeat. 

As for mistakes of the paltry kind last noticed 
(the days of Abiathar, the sixteenth of Tiberius, and 
so forth,) I wonder the glaring absurdity of charging 
them against Evangelists, does not strike any modest 
man of sane mind. To suppose that St. Matthew 
quoted the wrong prophet, or that St. Luke did not 
know the regnal years of the reigning Emperor ; that 
St. Stephen confused Abraham with Jacob, and Sy- 
chem with Hebron ; all this is really so grossly absurd, 
that I can hardly condescend to discuss the question. 
It is like maintaining that Sir Isaac Newton, after 
discovering the Law of Gravitation, and calculating 
the pathway of a planet, persisted in saying that two 
and two make five : or that Columbus, after discover- 
ing America, despaired of finding the way to his own 
door. It is simply ridiculous ! Admirable as a sub- 
ject for men to exercise their wits upon, as instru- 
ments of cavil, objections like these are about as 
formidable as a child's sword of lathe in the day 
of battle. 

I hear some one say, It seems to trouble you very 
much that inspired writers should be thought capable 
of making mistakes ; but it does not trouble me. Yery 
likely not. It does not trouble you^ perhaps, to see 
stone after stone, buttress after buttress, foundation 
after foundation, removed from the walls of Zion, until 
the whole structure trembles and totters, and is pro- 
nounced insecure. Your boasted unconcern is very 
little to the purpose, unless we may also know how 
dear to you the safety of Zion is. But if you make 
indignant answer, (as would to Heaven you may !) 


that your care for GOD'S honour, your, jealousy for 
GOD'S oracles, is every whit as great as our own, 
then we tell you that, on your wretched premises, men 
more logical than yourself will make shipwreck of 
their peace, and endanger their very souls. There 
is no stopping, no knowing where to stop, in this 
downward course. Once admit the principle of falli- 
bility into the inspired Word, and the whole becomes 
a bruised and rotten reed. If St. Paul a little, why 
not St. Paul much ? If Moses in some places, why 
not in many ? You will doubt our LORD'S infallibility 
next ! ... It might not trouble you^ to find your own 
familiar friend telling you a lie, every now and then : 
but I trust this whole congregation will share the 
preacher's infirmity, while he confesses that it would 
trouble him so exceedingly that after one established 
falsehood, he would feel unable ever to trust that 
friend implicitly again. 

Do you mean to say then, (I shall be asked,) that 
you maintain the theory of Verbal Inspiration? I 
answer, I refuse to accept any theory whatsoever 2 . 
But I believe that the Bible is the Word of GOD 
and I believe that GOD'S Word must be absolutely 
infallible. I shall therefore believe the Bible to 
be absolutely infallible, until I am convinced of 
the contrary. " Theories of Inspiration ^ (as they are 
called,) are the growth of an unbelieving age: and 
it is enough to disgust any one with the term, to find 
how it has been understood in some quarters. A well- 
known living editor of the Gospel a , says, " Accord- 
ing to the Verbal- Inspiration Theory, each Evangelist 
has recorded the exact words of the Inscription on the 
Cross ; not the general sense , but the Inscription itself; 
* See Appendix (E). 8 The Rev. H. Alford, Dean of Canterbury... 


not a letter less nor more. This is absolutely ne- 
cessary to the theory." The advocates of the theory 
(he proceeds) " may here find an undoubted example 
of the absurdity of their view. . . . Let us bear this 
in mind when the narrative of words spoken, or of 
events, differs in a similar manner." It is certainly 
very kind of the learned writer thus to apprize us of 
the danger of accepting a theory, which, so explained, 
we certainly never heard of before, and trust we 
may never hear of again. 

But if, instead of the " Theory of Verbal Inspi- 
ration," I am asked whether I believe the words of 
the Bible to be inspired, I answer, To be sure I do, 
every one of them : and every syllable likewise. Do 
not you ? Where, (if it be a fair question,) Where 
do you, in your wisdom, stop ? The book, you allow 
is inspired. How about the chapters? How about 
the verses? Do you stop at the verses, and not go 
on to the words? Or perhaps you enjoy a special 
tradition on this subject, and hold that Inspiration is 
a general, vague kind of thing, here more, there 
less : strong, (to speak plainly,) where you make no 
objection to what is stated, weak, when it runs 
counter to some fancy of your own. Sir, but this 
"general vague kind of thing" will not suffice to 
anchor the fainting soul upon, in the day of trouble, 
and in the hour of death ! " Here more, there less" 
will not satisfy a parched and weary spirit, athirst 
for the water of Life, and craving the shadow of the 
great Eock. "What security can you offer me, that 
the promise which has sustained me so long occurs 
in the "more," and not in the "less?" How am 
I to know that your Bible is my Bible : in other 
words, what proof is there that either of us possesses 


the Word of GOB, the authentic utterance of GOD'S 
HOLY SPIRIT, at all ? 

And do you not feel, that this " will o' the wisp" 
phantom of your brain, can prove no guide to either 
of us in the pilgrimage of life ? Perceive you not that 
the unworthy spirit in which you approach the Book 
of GOD'S Law must effectually prevent you from get- 
ting any wisdom from it ? Why, the pages which you 
look so coldly and carnally at, are written within and 
without, and burn from end to end with unutterable 
meaning 1 While you are quarrelling about the title 
on the Cross, you are missing the common salvation ! 
You keep us, Sunday after Sunday, disputing outside 
the gates of Paradise, instead of bidding us enter in, 
and eat of the delicious fruit ! While you are per- 
sisting that there is no beauty in the garden, (because 
you choose to be deaf as well as blind,) the shadows 
are lengthening out, and the glory is departing, and 
the angels are getting weary of harping upon their 
harps ! 

No, Sirs ! The Bible (be persuaded) is the very 
utterance of the Eternal ; as much GOD'S Word, as 
if high Heaven were open, and we heard GOD speak- 
ing to us with human voice. Every book of it, is 
inspired alike; and is inspired entirely. Inspiration 
is not a difference of degree, but of kind. The Apo- 
cryphal books are not one atom more inspired than 
Bacon's Essays. But the Bible, from the Alpha to 
the Omega of it, is filled to overflowing with the 
Holy Spirit of GOD : the Books of it, and the sentences 
of it, and the words of it, and the syllables of it, aye, 
and the very letters of it. u Nihil in Scripturis est 
otiosum," (said the great Casaubon) : "non dictio, non 
dictionis forma, non syllaba, non littera," .... The 


difficulty which attends quotations, I must explain 
another day. It is not a difficulty. The seeming 
paradox of calling a pedigree inspired, is only seem- 
ing. The text of Holy Scripture has nothing at all to 
do with the question. Is a dead poet responsible for 
the clumsiness of him who transcribes his copy, or 
for the carelessness of the apprentice in the printer's 
attic ? Least of all do we overlook the personality of 
the human writers, when we so speak. The styles 
of Daniel, of St. John, of St. Paul, of St. James, 
differ as much as the sounds emitted by organ pipes 
of wholly diverse construction. But those human 
instruments were fabricated, one and all, by the Hands 
of the same Divine Artist : and I have yet to learn 
that when the same man builds an organ, fills it with 
breath, and performs upon it a piece of his own com- 
position with matchless skill, I have yet to learn 
that any part of the honour, any part of the praise, 
any part of the glory of the performance is to be with- 
held from him / . . . The illustration is at least as old 
as Christianity itself. Pray take it in the noble words 
of Hooker. " They neither spoke nor wrote one word 
of their own : but uttered syllable by syllable as the 
Spirit put it into their mouths; no otherwise than 
the harp or the lute doth give a sound according to 
the discretion of his hands that holdeth and striketh 
it with skill. The difference is only this : an instru- 
ment, whether it be pipe or harp, maketh a distinction 
in the times and sounds, which distinction is well 
perceived of the hearer, the instrument itself under- 
standing not what is piped or harped. The prophets 
and holy men of GOD not so. ' I opened my mouth,' 
saith Ezekiel, i and GOD reached me a scroll, saying, 
Son of Man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels 


with this I give thee. I ate it, and it was sweet 
in my mouth as honey,' saith the prophet b . Yea, 
sweeter, I am persuaded, than either honey or the 
honeycomb. For herein, they were not like harps or 
lutes, but they felt, they felt the power and strength 
of their own words. When they spake of our peace, 
every corner of their hearts was filled with joy. When 
they prophesied of mourning, lamentations, and woes, 
to fall upon us, they wept in the bitterness and indig- 
nation of spirit, the Arm of the LORD being mighty 
and strong upon them V 

To conclude. The first time I enjoyed this privi- 
lege, I urged the younger men to a diligent and 
painful daily study of the Bible. On the next occa- 
sion, opening the Bible at the first page, I attempted 
to define the provinces of Theological and of Physical 
Science. All that was then offered may be summed 
up in one brief formula: GOD'S works CANNOT contra- 
dict Crows Word. I adverted to the method of would- 
be geologists, (a class all apart from the grave and 
learned few who give their days and nights to a truly 
noble branch of study,) because from them the most 
malignant attacks have proceeded: and I took my 
stand on the first chapter of Genesis, because the 
enemies of GOD'S Truth have made that chapter their 
favourite point of attack. But my argument was not 
directed more against Geology than against any other 
of the physical Sciences. They are all alike the hand- 
maids of Theological Science. Geology, however, sin- 
gularly honoured by the Creator in that He hath be- 
queathed for her inspection so many marvels of primae- 
val Time, evidences of how He was working in this 
remote planet before the Creation of Man ; Geology, 
* Ezek. iii. 2, 3. * Hooker, Serm. v. 4. (Works, TO!, iii. p. 663.) 


I say, it especially behoves to be humble: partly, 
because she is the youngest of all the sciences ; and 
partly, because the weak guesses of her childhood are 
yet in the memory of us all. If indeed she would 
inherit the Earth, let her remember that she asks for 
the blessing which CHRIST hath promised to none but 
the meek d . 

We altogether repudiated, then, the contrast which 
is often implied between Theology and Science ; as if 
Theology were not a Science, but some other thing. 
Theological Science we declared to be the noblest of 
the Sciences, the very Queen and Mistress of them 
all. And yet, supreme as she is, she not only admits, 
but desires, and thankfully accepts the ministerial 
offices of the other Sciences ; all of which, like dutiful 
servants in a household, have it in their power to 
render her most important acts of homage. Language, 
for example, carries the keys of the casket wherein 
she keeps her treasures ; and for that reason Theology 
hath promoted Language to great honour. History, 
and Geography, and Chronology, have each had their 
respective tasks assigned them. It is for Astronomy 
to make answer if question be raised of the date of 
Paschal full Moon, or of Eclipse. Let the physiolo- 
gist explain, if he can, Scriptural allusions to the 
vegetable and animal kingdoms. How precious are 
the guesses of Geology, as she tries to fathom the 
Ocean of unrecorded Time ! Who would desire the 
silence of the Professor of any department of physical 
Science? Morals also have their place and their 
function assigned them ; and a thrice blessed place, 
a most holy function is theirs ! "Why should not 
Moral Science have an office even in the Court of 

d St. Matth. v. 5. 


Theology? Was not Morality the Schoolmaster of 
the sons of Japheth, what time there was dew on the 
fleece only, but it was dry upon all the earth beside ? 
What are Morals else but the echoes of the voice of 
GOD yet lingering in the Hall of Conscience, or 
rather in the Chambers of Memory ? . . . . Her func- 
tion therefore is to bear willing witness to the Good- 
ness, the Wisdom, the Justice of the Eternal: and 
her place, the loftiest which can be imagined for 
a creature, is somewhere beneath the footstool of 
Almighty GOD. 

But when, instead of the submissive manners of 
a well-ordered Court, symptoms of insolence and in- 
subordination are witnessed on every side, then, 
the least and humblest takes leave, (time, and place, 
and occasion serving,) to speak out fearlessly on be- 
half of that which he loves with an unworthy, but 
a most undivided heart. When Language impugns 
those Oracles which she was hired to decypher, and 
pretends to doubt the Inspiration of that Book of 
which, confessedly, she barely understands the Gram- 
mar: when History and Chronology cry out that 
the annals of Theology are fake, and her record of 
Time a fable ; that the Deluge, for instance, is an old 
wives' story, and the economy of times and seasons 
a human fabrication : when Astronomical and Me- 
chanical Science strut up to the Throne whereon sits 
the Ancient of Days, prate to Him, (the first Author 
of Law,) about the " supremacy of Law," and tell 
Him to His face that His miracles are things im- 
possible : when Physiology insinuates that Man- 
kind cannot be descended from one primeval pair; 
and that the lives of the Patriarchs cannot be such 
as they are recorded to have been : when the pre- 


tender to Natural Philosophy gravely assures us that 
we ought not to pray for fair weather, because the 
weather depends not upon " arbitrary changes in the 
will of GOD," but upon laws as fixed and certain " as 
the laws of gravitation g ," which, mark you, Sirs, is 
no longer a dry verbal speculation, but is nothing 
less than an invasion of that inner chamber where you 
or I have retired to pour out the fulness of an aching 
heart, in prayer that GOD would prolong, if it may be, 
the life of the dearest thing we have on earth ; and 
rudely to bid us rise from our knees and be silent, 
for that the health of Man depends not on the will 
of GOD, but on fixed physiological laws : lastly, when 
the pretender to Geological skill denies the authen- 
ticity of the First Chapter of Genesis ; which is to 
deny the Inspiration of all the rest; and therefore 
of the whole Bible ; and thus to rob Life's weary 
pilgrim of that rod and staff concerning which he 
has many a time exclaimed, " they comfort me !" : 
whenever, as now, such things are spoken and printed, 
not in a corner, and by insignificant persons, and 
in ambiguous language, but in plain English, by 
clergymen and scholars in authority, openly in the 
face of GOD'S sun ; then it is high time, even for the 
humblest and least among you, if no man of mark 
will speak up, and speak out, for GOD'S Truth, 
to deliver a plain message with that freedom which 
Englishmen hold to be a part of their birthright. It 
should breed no offence, I say, if the most unworthy 
of GOD'S servants, here, before you all, before these 
younger men especially, who have been drawn hither 
by the fame of your piety and your learning, and 

Professor Kingsley's Sermon, " Why should we pray for fair 
Weather ?" 


who have been entrusted to your guardianship through 
the precious years of early manhood, with a well- 
grounded confidence that you would give them to 
eat not only of the Tree of Knowledge, but also largely 
of the fruit of the Tree of Life : in this Holy House 
too where he received his commission 11 , and vowed 
before GOD and Man, that he would " be ready," (the 
LORD being his helper,) "with all faithful diligence 
to drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines 
contrary to GOD'S Word:" before such an audience, 
and in such a place, it must and shall be lawful for 
me solemnly to denounce as false and deadly, full 
of nothing but pernicious consequence, that system 
of practical Infidelity which enjoys such unhappy 
popularity at this hour; which, under the mask of 
Science, and under the specious name of Progress, is 
spreading like a fatal contagion through the length 
and breadth of the land ; and which, if suffered to* go 
unchastised and unchecked, will end by shaking both 
the Altar and the Throne ! .... Look well to it, Sirs, 
if you care for the safety of the Ark of GOD. For my 
part, like one of old time whose words I am not 
worthy to take upon my lips, " I cannot hold my 
peace : because thou hast heard, my soul, the sound 
of the trumpet, the alarm of war 1 !" 

The case is not altered, rather is it made worse, 
if this hostility to GOD'S Truth proceeds from persons 
bearing Orders in the English Church. (" my soul, 
come not thou into their secret !") The case is not 
altered : for the requirements of Physical Science are 
still the plea ; and Divines, in no sense, these men are, 
however unsuccessful they may prove in establishing 
their claim to the title of philosophers either. Nay, 

h See at the foot of p. 53, note (a). ' Jer. iv. 19. 


Sirs, suffer one of yourselves to ask you, whether 
these disgraceful developments are not the lawful re- 
sult of your own incredible system, of sending forth, 
year by year, men to be teachers and professors of 
Divinity, to whom you have yet never imparted any 
Theological training whatever 1 . 

You are requested to observe, that not only cannot 
GOD'S Works contradict GOD'S Word, simply because 
they are twin utterances of one and the same Divine 
Intelligence ; but also the deductions of Physical 
Science cannot possibly run counter to the decrees of 
Theology k , simply because they are respectively in 
a wholly diverse subject-matter. Had Theology even 
once delivered a Geological decree, or pretended even 
once to pronounce upon any Astronomical problem ; 
then, indeed, there would be reason why her disciples 
should watch with alarm the rapid advance of Physical 
Science, instead of hailing it, as they do, with wonder 
and delight. Then, indeed, we should be constrained 
to admit that the day might be coming when Theo- 
logy would have to reconsider the platform where- 
on she stands; and possibly to "give way." But 
it is an undeniable fact that there exist no Theo- 
logical dogmas on matters Geological, no, not one! 
Theology cannot retreat from ground on which she 

J The complaint is a very old one. See Pearson's Minor Works, 
vol. i. pp. 429-30. 

k It becomes necessary to explain, that on the Sunday after the 
delivery of the foregoing Sermon, a Sermon was preached directly 
contravening its teaching. Next week, it became the present writer's 
duty to address the same auditory, which will explain as much of 
what follows in the present Sermon, (including something at p. 79,) 
as may seem to require explanation. It was impossible to proceed 
with the argument, until what had been advanced of a directly op- 
posite tendency had been thus disposed of. 



has never set foot. She cannot retract, what she has 
never advanced, or recal the words which she has 
never spoken. The decrees of Theology are all con- 
fined to the Science of Theology, and with that sub- 
ject-matter, the other Sciences have simply no concern. 
Their office there, as I have again and again explained, 
is simply ministerial ; and when they enter the pre- 
sence chamber of the great King, they are bid not to 
draw too nigh. " Put off thy shoes from off thy feet ; 
for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground !" 
And how about Moral Science, whom we beheld, 
a moment since, shrouded in her mantle, beneath the 
footstool of the ALMIGHTY ; afraid to look up into 
His awful Face, and not presuming to speak, un- 
less called upon to bear her solemn witness to what 
she learned of Him " in the beginning ?" Must we 
imagine her too rising from her lowly seat, and pre- 
suming to sit in judgment upon the Author of her 
Being ? Are we to picture her arraigning the Good- 
ness of Him who commanded Abraham to slay his 
son ; or the Justice of Him who sent Saul to destroy 
the Amalekites ; or the Mercy of Him who inspired 
certain of David's Psalms ; or the Wisdom of Him 
who made the everlasting Gospel the mysterious four- 
fold thing it is ? Then, were she to do so, we should 
perforce exclaim, This judgment of thine cannot 
possibly be just ! For the echo must resemble the 
voice which woke it ! Other spirits must have been 
intruding here ; and the unholy din of their voices 
must have drowned the clear, yet still and small 

utterance of ALMIGHTY GOD within thy breast ! 

In other words, if there be antagonism, Ethics, not 
Theology, but (that which calls itself) Moral Science, 
must instantly and hopelessly give way. 


For doubtless, that inference of ours as to what had 
happened, would be a true inference. It will be the 
fact, I fear, before the end of all things ; for it seems 
to be implied, (a more heart-sickening sentence in 
all Scripture, I know not I), that when the Son of 
Man cometh, He will not find the Faith on the Earth 1 . 
And if not the Faith (rrjv TTLCTTIV\ what then ? The 
Moral Sense ? Hardly ! for where was the Moral Sense 
when she let go the Faith ? It was the fact, (if I read 
the record rightly,) eighteen centuries ago : for chil- 
dren had then forgotten their duty to their Parents ; 
and the sanctity of Marriage was unknown ; and (0 
prime note of a darkened conscience !) men not only 
did things worthy of Death, but " had pleasure in them 
that did them" Bead the first chapter of St. Paul's 
Epistle to the Romans, and say what was then the 
condition of the Moral Sense in man. Tell me, while 
your cheek is yet burning, whether you think Moral 
Science was then competent to sit in judgment on a 
Revelation sent from the GOD of Purity, until GOD'S 
own SON had republished the sanctions of the Moral 
Law, and informed Man's conscience afresh ! . . . No 
Sirs. We are told expressly, that " as they did not 
like to retain GOD in their knowledge, GOD gave them 
over to a reprobate mind," " gave them up unto vile 
affections." And why ? Hear the Apostle ! It was 
because "when they knew GOD, they glorified Him 
not as GOD ; neither were thankful :" hence, they 
were suffered to become vain in their imaginations, 

and. u their foolish heart ivas darkened!" In other 

words, the candle of the LORD, the light of conscience 
within them, was well nigh put out. 

This will explain the reason why, when " THE 

1 St. Luke xviii. 8. 


WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us," He so 
frequently delivered precepts, yea, preached whole 
Sermons, on what woiild now-a-days be called mere 
" Morality." He was republisking the Moral Law. He 
was graving afresh those letters which had been well- 
nigh worn out through tract of Time, and the wear 
and tear of Man's ungoverned lusts. Hence, to this 
hour, when question is raised of Eight and Wrong, 
the appeal is made, by the common consent of Chris- 
tian men, not to the inner consciousness of the creature, 
but to the Creator's external Eevelation of His mind 
and will. Let abler men explain to us what we mean 
when we talk about Immutable Morality. I am by 
no means sure that I understand myself. Sure only 
am I that it will carry us a very little way. Aristotle 
would never have made the average moral sense of 
mankind his standard, had he known of a Aoyos* #eo- 
TrvevaTO?. The principles of Morality do indeed seem 
to be fixed and eternal ; aei TTOTC fj ravra : but it 
is no longer true, ovdels ol8ev e orov '(frdvrj. Ever 
since the Gospel came into the world, general opinion 
has ceased to be the standard of Truth : for the Bible 
has simply superseded it ; and put forth a standard to 
which "general opinion" itself must bow. "/am 
the Way, the Truth, and the Life." So spake the 
Eternal SON while yet on Earth. And He foresaw 
that there would come a day when the world would 
still ask, with Pilate, " What is Truth ?" Accordingly, 
we heard his solemn reply in this Morning's Second 
Lesson" THY WORD,"" THY WORD is Truth." . . . 
" GOD made two great lights," I grant you : but what 
I maintain is, that He made " the greater Light to 
rule the Day." 

And therefore are we very bold to assert that it is all 


too late for men now to vaunt the authority of the Moral 
Sense, as a thing to be set up against the fixed and 
immutable Eevelation of GOD'S mind and will. " The 
sufficiency of Natural Eeligion is a paradox of modern 
invention, and the boast of it comes with an ill grace, 
and under great suspicions, so late in the day of 
trial m ." " Aye, it comes all too late. Here in England, 
(Goo be praised !) the moral sense is indeed strong. 
Is it as strong, think you, among those continental na- 
tions which are under the spiritual yoke of Eqme ? Is 
it as strong among the Hindoos ? Is it as strong among 
the savage inhabitants of central Australia ? . . . Per- 
ceive you not that if Moral Science speaks with a loud 
and clear voice in Christian lands, it is because there 
the Moral Sense has been in those lands informed 
afresh by Eevelation ? " That the principles of Na- 
tural Eeligion have come to be so far understood and 
admitted, may fairly be taken for one of the effects of 
the Gospel n ." The echoes of the voice of GOD are 
now so distinct, only because GOD hath suffered His 
awful voice to be heard on earth again : and if among 
ourselves those echoes are the loudest and the clearest, 
is it not because among ourselves the Bible is read 
the most? 

"The fact" (says the thoughtful writer already 
quoted,) " the fact is not to be denied; the Eeligion 
of Nature has had the opportunity of rekindling her 
faded taper by the Gospel light, whether furtively 
or unconsciously availed of. Let her not dissemble 
the obligation, and make a boast of the splendour, as 
though it were originally her own ; or had always, in 
her hands, been sufficient for the illumination of the 
World." " It is not to be imagined that men fail to 

m Davison's Discourses on Prophecy, p. 7. n Ibid. 


profit by the light that has been shed upon them, 
though they have not always the integrity to own the 
source from which it comes ; or though they may turn 
their back upon it, whilst it fills the very atmosphere 
in which they move, with glory ." 

I say, therefore, that it is all too late to vaunt the 
supremacy of Conscience as opposed to Eevelation, 
Moral as opposed to Theological Science. Moral 
Science owes all its renewed strength and vigour to 

Davison's Discourses on Prophecy, p. 8. The following pas- 
sage is from Bp. Horsley's Primary Charge to the Clergy of Ro- 
chester, (1796,): "The question in this case is not abstract, 
what Reason may have the ability to do. The question is upon 
a matter of fact, what she did. Were these things, in point of 
fact, man's own discovery ? The sacred history is explicit that they 
were not. And notwithstanding the many useful lessons of Mo- 
rality we find in the writings of the heathen sages, the many 
eloquent discourses upon providence, and the immortality of the 
soul, the many subtile disquisitions upon the great questions of 
necessity and moral freedom, upon fate and chance, I am persuaded, 
that had it not been for the early communications of the Creator 
with mankind, Man never would have raised the conceptions of his 
mind to the idea of a God ; he never would have dreamt of the im- 
material principle within himself; and he never would have formed 
any general notions of Right and Wrong in the abstract ; he would 
have had no Religion, perhaps no Morality The prudent dis- 
pensers of the Word will resort to Revelation for his first principles, 
as well as for more mysterious truths. He will not trust to philo- 
sophy for any discoveries. He will suffer philosophy to be nothing 
more than his assistant in the study of the inspired Word. She 
must herself be instructed by those lively oracles before she can be 
qualified to take part in the instruction of men. To lay the founda- 
tion of Revelation upon any previous discoveries of Reason, is in 
fact to make Reason the superior teacher. It is not improbable, 
that Idolatry itself had its first beginning in an early adoration of 
this phantom of Natural Religion, the idol, in later ages, of im- 
politic metaphysical Divines." Charges, pp. 50, 51. Bp. Butler 
says the same thing, but more briefly, in his Analogy, P. II., c. ii. : 
also P. I., c. vi. 


Theology. And so, were Moral Science to dare call in 
question, (as she sometimes has done, and may dare 
to do again !), the Morality of the Bible, we should 
find her monstrous image nowhere so fitly as in that 
of the man whose withered hand CHRIST healed in 
the Synagogue, if the same man had proved such a 
wretch, as straightway to lift up his arm with inten- 
tion to smite his Benefactor and his GOD. 

Physical Science therefore, (for the last time !) 
all the other Sciences, Moral Science not excepted, 
are the handmaids of Theological Science : and Mo- 
rality, to which we omitted before to assign an office, 
we have stationed somewhere beneath the footstool, 
which is before the Throne, of the Most High. But 
this day's Sermon, (and with these words I con- 
clude, sorry to have felt obliged to detain you so 
long !) this Day's Sermon has had for its object 
to remind you, that THE BIBLE is none other than 
the voice of Him that sitteth upon the Throne! Every 
Book of it, every Chapter of it, every Verse of it, 
every word of it, every syllable of it, (where are 
we to stop ?) every letter of it is the direct utter- 
ance of the Most High ! Tldo-a ypa<pr] OeoTrvevcrTos. 
" Well spake the HOLY GHOST, by the mouth of" the 
many blessed Men who wrote it. The Bible is none 
other than the Word of GOD: not some part of it, 
more, some part of it, less ; but all alike, the utterance 
of Him who sitteth upon the Throne; absolute, 
faultless, unerring, supreme ! 

*Eyo> fifv ovv lutra ev rj piav Kfpaiav ov Trioreuo) -Kevfjv clvat Oeiav 

OBIGENES, Comment, in S. Matth. torn. xvi. c. 12. p. 734. 

Tavra fMoi c?pT)Tai . . Trpos (rv(TTa<nv rov prjdev p-fXP 1 (rv\\aftrjs apyov 
TI elvat ro)v OeoTTveixrTdiv pTjp.dro)v. 

BASILIUS, in Hex. Horn. vi. c. 11. torn. i. p. 61 c. 

Scripturae quidem perfects sunt, quippe a VEEBO DEI, et SPIRITTJ 
ejus dictse. 

IEENJEUS, Contr. Haer. lib. ii. c. xxviii. 2. 

VTrevavrioxris fj droTria ev rots 6eioi$ Xoyoiy. 
METHODIUS, Tyrius Episcopus, ap. Routh K-eliqq. t. v. p. 351. 

Ecm yap cv rois T&V Tpa(pS>v prjfjuuriv 6 Kvpios. 

ATHANASIUS, ad Marcellinum. 

*O(ra T) dfia ypa<pr) Xeyei, rov Ili/eu/iaros i<ri TOV 'Ayi'ov <po>vai. 

GEEGOEIUS KYSSEN. Contr. Eunom. Orat. vi. 

Cedamus igitur et consentiamus auctoritati SanctaB Scripturse, 
nescit falli nee fallere. 

AUGUSTINFS, De Peccator. Merit, lib. i. c. 22. 





ST. JOHN xvii. 17. 
Thy Word is Truth. 

T THANKFULLY avail myself of the opportunity 
-1 which, unexpected and unsolicited, so soon pre- 
sents itself, to proceed with the subject which was 
engaging our attention when I last occupied this 

Let me remind you of the nature of the present 
inquiry, and of the progress which we have already 

Taking Holy Scripture for our subject, and urging, 
as best we. knew how, its paramount claims on the 
daily attention of the younger men, who at present 
are our hope and ornament; to be hereafter, as we 
confidently believe, our very crown and joy; even 
while we held in our hands that volume which our 
Fathers were content to call the volume of Inspiration, 
we were constrained to recollect that its claim to be 
inspired has of late years been repeatedly called in 
question. It has even become the fashion to cavil at 
almost everything which the Bible contains. We are 

a Preached in Christ-Church Cathedral, Dec. 9th, 1860. 


grown so exceedingly wise, have made so many strange 
discoveries, and have become so clear-sighted, that 
the more advanced among us are kindly bent on dis- 
abusing the minds of their less gifted brethren of that 
most venerable delusion of all, (for it is coeval with 
Christianity,) that the Bible is in any special sense 
the Word of GOD. I do not say that Theologians 
talk thus. But pretenders to Natural Science, know- 
ing nothing whatever of Divinity, and therefore intru- 
ding into a realm of which they do not understand 
so much as the language ; together with, (sad to 
relate !) men bearing a commission in the Church of 
CHRIST, (and who ought therefore to be building up, 
where they are seeking to destroy,) are employing 
the powers which GOD has given them, in this direc- 
tion. It becomes indispensable, in consequence, that 
we should say somewhat on behalf of those Oracles 
which have been so vigorously impugned ; and it 
should not seem strange if we oppose to such de- 
structive dogmatism, the most uncompromising seve- 
rity of counter statement. 

The objections which have been raised against the 
Bible, although they have been industriously gleaned 
from various quarters, will all be most effectually met, 
I am persuaded, by getting men to acquaint them- 
selves with the contents of the deposit itself. And 
yet, inasmuch as it is the nature of doubts, when 
once injected into the mind, to fester and to spread ; 
inasmuch also as the bold confidence of plausible as- 
sertion, especially when recommended by men of repu- 
tation, and set off with some ability and skill, is apt 
to impose on youth and inexperience; we seem re- 
duced to a kind of necessity, to examine ; and, as far 
as the limits of a sermon will allow, to refute; the 


charges which have been so industriously brought 
forward against the Bible. 

The favourite objections of the day come partly 
from without, partly from within. The classification 
is not exact, but it may serve to assist the memory. 
One class of objections is, in a manner, destructive, 
for it results in entire disbelief of the Bible : the 
other class, suggesting imperfections, results in a low 
and disparaging estimate of its contents. When ex.- 
ception is taken against certain portions of Holy Scrip- 
ture, on the ground of discoveries in Physical Science, 
of the dictates of the Moral Sense, of the supre- 
macy of mechanical Laws, and the like, we consider 
that the supposed difficulties come from without. As 
much as we care to say on this class of objections has 
either been already offered, or must be reserved for 
a subsequent occasion b . When doubts are insinuated, 
arising out of the subject-matter of the Bible, we 
consider the difficulties to proceed from within. The 
apparent contradictions of the Evangelists, are of this 
nature. Supposed errors or misstatements, come under 
the same head. Yery imperfectly, yet sufficiently for 
our immediate purpose, we have touched upon both 
subjects. Those portions of the Old Testament which 
savour in the highest degree of the marvellous, must 
be reserved for separate consideration c . To-day I pro- 
pose to speak of another kind of objection ; but which 
arises, like the others, out of the subject-matter of the 
Bible. Moreover, it is the kind of difficulty which 
most readily presents itself to any who listened with 
unwilling ears to my last discourse. Some here pre- 
sent may remember my repeated and unequivocal as- 
sertion that Holy Scripture is inspired from the Alpha 
b See Sermon VII. c Ibid. 


to the Omega of it ; not some parts more, some parts 
less, but all equally, and all to overflowing ; that we 
hold it to be, not generally inspired, but particularly ; 
that we see not how with logical consistency we can 
avoid believing the words as well as the sentences of 
it ; the syllables as well as the words ; the letters as 
well as the syllables ; every " jot " and every " tittle " 
of it, (to use our LORD'S expression,) to be divinely 
inspired: and further, that until the contrary has 
been proved, we shall maintain that no misapprehen- 
sion or misstatement, no error or blot of any kind, 
can possibly exist within its pages : that we hold 
the Bible to be as much the Word of GOD, as if GOD 
spoke to us therein with human lips ; and that, as 
the very utterance of the HOLY GHOST, we cannot but 
think that it must be absolute, faultless, unerring, 

I. To this, it has been objected as follows : 
You cannot possibly mean what you say. You will 
not pretend to assert that the list of the Dukes of 
Edom d , is as much inspired, inspired in the same 
sense, as the Gospel of St. John. To which I make 
answer, that I believe one to be just as much inspired 
as the other : and before I leave off, I will endeavour to 
bring my hearers to the same opinion. In the mean- 
time, it is only fair to the objector, to hear him out : 
to follow his guidance ; and to see whither he would 
lead us. It will be quite competent for us then to 
retrace our steps; to point out "a more excellent 
way ;" and to entreat him, with all a brother's ear- 
nestness, to reconsider the matter, and to follow us. 

The objection may, I believe, be fairly stated as 
follows. It is unreasonable to consider any part of 

d Gen. xxxvi. 


Holy Scripture inspired which the author was com- 
petent to write without the aid of Inspiration. Just 
as you would not multiply miracles needlessly, and 
ascribe to special Divine interference results which 
might be otherwise accounted for, so neither ought 
you to call in the aid of Inspiration where it may 
clearly be dispensed with. A genealogy, a cata- 
logue of names, whether of places or persons, what- 
ever may reasonably be suspected to have been an 
extract from public Archives ; nothing of this sort 
need you, nor indeed, properly speaking, can you, call 
"inspired." More than that. All mere narratives 
of ordinary transactions, or indeed of transactions 
extraordinary ; whatever, in short, a writer, having 
first beheld it with his eyes, appears to have simply 
described with his pen, it is unreasonable to regard 
as the work of Inspiration. For it is plain to common 
sense, (so at least I have heard it said,) that there is 
much, both in the Old and in the New Testament, the 
delivery of which required no other than the ordinary 
gifts of men : actual observation, good memory, high 
intellect, clearness of statement, honesty of purpose. 
Look at the preface to St. Luke's Gospel. It seems 
only to convey that the author of it believed himself 
to be bringing out a superior edition of a narrative 
which had already been attempted by many. I would 
apply, (it is said,) to the whole of the Old Testament 
the same observations which I apply to the New. 
There are parts which evidently required nothing but 
opportunity of experience, or research, and the ordi- 
nary qualities of a trustworthy historian. This then 
is the way the case is put. There is no intentional 
irreverence on the part of the objector : no conscious 
hostility to GOD'S Truth. Very much the reverse. 


But having once assumed that the catalogue of the 
Dukes of Edom is not to be regarded as an inspired 
document, he has logical consistency enough to per- 
ceive that he cannot exactly stop there. And so, he 
carries his speculations a little further. He tries to 
take (what he calls) a " common sense " view of the 
question. He says that he thinks it a dangerous 
proceeding on the part of the preacher to insist on 
the infallibility of Apostles and Evangelists. Mean- 
while, I suspect that he is not by any means without 
a suspicion that he is on a platform beset with far 
greater dangers, himself. He has walked a little this 
way, and that way; and his "common sense" has 
shewn him that there is an ugly precipice on every 
side. Nay ; he perceives that the ground trembles, 
and cracks, and shakes, and even yawns beneath 
his feet. 

For I request you to observe, that there is abso- 
lutely no middle state between Inspiration and non- 
inspiration. If a writing be inspired, it is Divine : if 
it be not inspired, it is human. It is absurd to shirk 
the alternative. Some parts of the Bible, it is allowed, 
are inspired ; other parts, it is contended, are not. Let 
it be conceded then, for the moment, that the catalogue 
of the Dukes of Edom is not an inspired writing; 
and let it be ejected from the Bible accordingly. 
We must by strict parity of reasoning, eject the xth 
chapter of Genesis, which enumerates the descendants 
of Japheth, of Ham, and of Shem, with the countries 
which they severally occupied, that truly venerable 
record and outline of the primaeval settlement of the 
nations! The ten Patriarchs before, and the ten 
after Noah : the many enumerations contained in the 
Book of Numbers : much of the two Books of Chroni- 


cles : together with the Genealogies of our SAVIOUR 
as given by St. Matthew and St. Luke. 

It is clear that the history of the Flood, very 
much of it at least, is of the same nature : a kind of 
calendar as it were, and record of dates. 

But we may go on faster, and use the knife far 
more freely. Every thing in the Pentateuch of which 
Moses had been an eye or ear- witness, and which he 
set down from his own personal knowledge, may be 
eliminated from the Eible, as not inspired. Accord- 
ing to the principle already enunciated by yourself, 
I call upon you to excise from the Book of GOD'S Law, 
Exodus, and Leviticus, and Numbers, and Deuter- 
onomy : those passages only excepted which are pro- 
phetical, as the. xxxiiird of Deuteronomy. Joshua 
must go of course : for if the son of Nun did not 
write the Book which goes under his name, (as the 
wise men in Germany say, or used to say, he did 
not 6 ,) of course the narrative is not authentic; and 
if he did, you say that it ought not to be regarded as 
inspired. Judges and Ruth cannot hope to stand; 
for they are mere stories, narratives of events which 
any contemporary author who enjoyed " actual ob- 
servation, good memory, high intellect, clearness of 
statement, and honesty of purpose," was abundantly 
qualified (according to your view of the matter) 
to commit to writing. The Books of Samuel and of 
Kings cannot be claimed as the work of Inspiration, 
of course. Chronicles we have got rid of already. 
No imaginable plea can be invented for the Books 
of Ezra, of Nehemiah, and of Esther ; those writings 

e See the Hulsean Lectures for 1833, (The Law of Moses viewed 
in connexion with the History and character of the Jews, with 
a defence of the Book of Joshua, &c.) by Henry John Rose, B.D. 



having evidently required nothing (to use your own 
phrase) but u opportunity of experience or research, 
and the ordinary qualities of a trustworthy historian." 
The prophetical books you spare ; natural piety sug- 
gesting that since " Prophecy came not in old time 
by the will of man, but holy men of GOD spake as 
they were moved by the HOLY GHOST* ;" the writings 
of Isaiah and the rest, must be retained as inspired. 
We expunge those portions only which are simply 
historical and moral; since to these, by the hypo- 
thesis, the spirit of Inspiration cannot be thought 
to have extended. 

We come now to the New Testament ; and two of 
the Gospels are found to be mutilated already, by the 
elimination of one chapter of St. Matthew and one of 
St. Luke. But on the principle that personal obser- 
vation, a good memory, honesty of purpose, and so 
forth, are the only requirements necessary, we may 
proceed to carry forward the work of excision with 
spirit, so that we be but careful to use discernment. 
For example, we may begin with the Call of St. Mat- 
thew, and the Feast which he made to our LORD in 
his own house. Who so competent to relate this, as 
the Evangelist himself? Whenever, in short, the 
Twelve were present, St. Matthew, (as one of the 
Twelve,) may be assumed to have written from per- 
sonal observation ; and that portion of his narrative is 
to be rejected accordingly as uninspired. 

It is painful to anticipate what will be the fate of 
St. John's Gospel, on this principle, together with 
most of the Divine Discourses therein recorded. Not, 
to be sure, that we shall lose the conversation with 
Mcodemus, nor that with the woman of Samaria; 

f 2 St. Peter i. 21. 


because St. John was not present when either of those 
conversations took place : but all, from the xivth to 
the xviith chapter inclusive ; as well as the discourse 
in the vith chapter, must of course be dismissed. 
The matter of these discourses, it will be urged, 
(with more of logical consistency, alas ! than of essen- 
tial truth,) might have been faithfully handed down 
by St. John without any extraordinary gift. He was 
bound to our LORD by more than ordinary affection. 
He was ever nearest to Him. Is it not conceivable, 
(we are asked,) that these two causes, aided by a re- 
tentive memory, would at least enable him to give us 
the record which he has given ? 

Quite superfluous must it be to state that the Acts 
of the Apostles, under the expurgatory process which 
now engages our attention, will cease to be regarded 
as an inspired Book; and therefore must be at once 
disconnected from the confessedly inspired portions of 
Holy Scripture. St. Paul's Epistles, you say, on the 
contrary, are probably inspired, and therefore are 

probably to be spared And I really think we 

need go no further. If your own handling of Holy 
Scripture, your own method, by yourself applied, 
be not a reductio ad absurdum, I know of nothing 
in the world which is. ... Look only at that hand- 
ful of mutilated pages in the hands of one who is 
supposed to be the impersonation of " common sense ;" 
turn the tattered and mangled leaves over and over, 
which you are pleased to call the Yolume of Inspira- 
tion ; and get all the comfort and help out of it you 
can. But be not surprised to hear that you are ex- 
posing yourself to the ridicule of the sane part of 
Mankind, even while haply you are acting a part 

which makes the Angels weep How much of 

H 2 


the Bible will remain, when Science, (Physical, Moral, 
Historical,) has further done her work, I forbear now 
to inquire : but I shrewdly suspect that she will leave 
you very little beyond the back and the covers. 

Let us not be told, (as we doubtless shall,) that 
the human parts of Scripture need not be ejected from 
the Canon because they are human: that they may 
be allowed to stand with the rest, although uninspired ; 
and the like. About this, we at least are competent 
judges. We are now bent on discovering how much 
of Holy Scripture is the Word of GOD ; and we refuse, 
for the moment, to regard as such, and to retain, 
a single passage which, being (as you say) uninspired, 
is simply the word of Man. 

II. Let me now be permitted to lay before you a 
somewhat different view of the office of Inspiration. 
Since the illumination of Science, falsely so called, 
and the process of Common Sense, would seem to 
have resulted in the extinction of the deposit, I ask 
your patience while I try to shew, that common sense, 
informed by a somewhat loftier Theological Instinct, 
may give such an account of the matter as will en- 
able us to preserve every word of the deposit entire. 

You call my attention to the catalogue of the 
Dukes of Edom, and tell me that it required no 
supernatural aid to enable Moses to write it. How, 
may I ask, do you ascertain that fact ? No specimens 
of the documentary evidence of the land of Seir in 
the days of Moses, are known now to exist on the 
earth's surface. You therefore *know absolutely no- 
thing whatever about the matter of which you speak 
so confidently. 

But, that we may grapple with the question fairly, 
let us come down from an age concerning which nei- 


ther of us knows anything beyond what the Bible 
teaches, to a period with which all are familiar, and 
to documents of which we know at least a little. It 
will suit your purpose far better that you should in- 
stance the two Genealogies of our LORD, of which 
you also say that it is impossible to maintain that 
they exhibit the work of Inspiration in the same 
sense as when some lofty statement of Christian doc- 
trine comes before us. Indeed, you deny that they 
are inspired at all. I, on my side, am willing to 
admit that it is quite possible, even probable, that 
the first and the third Evangelist had access to ex- 
tant documents of which they respectively availed 
themselves, when they recorded our LORD'S descent. 

But, do you not perceive that the great underlying 
fallacy in all you have been saying, is your own 
wholly gratuitous assumption that you are a com- 
petent judge of what did, what did not, require 
supernatural aid to deliver ? that whatever seems as 
if it might have been written without Inspiration, 
was therefore written without it ? I see so many 
practical inconveniences, or rather I see such glaring 
absurdity, resulting from the supposition that Inspi- 
ration goes and comes before an authentic document, 
that I am constrained to think that you are altogether 
mistaken in the office which you assign to Inspiration, 
in the kind of notion which you seem to entertain 
concerning its nature. 

An Evangelist, if you please, is inspired. It be- 
comes necessary to introduce a genealogy. Following 
the Divine guidance, (the nature of which, neither 
you nor I know anything at all about,) he applies in 
a certain quarter, and obtains access to a certain 
document. Or he repairs to a well-known repository 


of public archives, and out of the whole collection he 
is guided to make choice of one particular writing. 
He proceeds to transcribe it, omitting names (drop- 
ping three generations for instance,) -or inserting 
names (the second Cainan for example,) or, if you 
please, neither omitting nor inserting anything. The 
document, (suppose,) requires no correction whatever. 
Well but, this man was inspired a moment ago, in 
what he was writing ; and no reason has been shewn 
why he should not be inspired still. He has adopted 
a document, by incorporating it into his narrative. 
By transcribing it, he has made it his own. I 
am at a loss to see that its claim to be an inspired 
writing, from that moment forward, is in any re- 
spect inferior to the rest of the narrative in which 
it stands. 

You are requested to remember that when we call 
the Bible an inspired book, we mean nothing more 
than that the words of it are the very utterance of the 
HOLY SPIRIT ; that the Book is as much the Word of 
GOD as if high Heaven were open, and we heard GOD 
speaking to us with human voice. All I am contend- 
ing for notVj is, that this is at least as true of one part 
of the Gospel as of another : that if it be true of any- 
thing in the Gospel, it is at least as true of the 
Genealogy of CHRIST. The subject-matter indeed is 
different ; but it is a mere confusion of thought to 
infer therefrom a different degree of Inspiration. Let 
me try and make this plainer by a few familiar illus- 

1. When the Sovereign reads a speech from the 
Throne, does she speak the words of it in any different 
sense from the worcfs of a speech which she has her- 
self composed ? Nay, are words of investiture, mere 


words of form and state, in any less degree spoken, 
than words of confidence, and private friendship ? 

2. Again. The substance of paper and the substance 
of gold, are widely different. And yet, when paper 
has been subjected to a certain process, and stamped 
with a certain impress, there is practically no difference 
whatever between the value of what was, a moment 
ago, absolutely worthless, and an ingot of the purest 

3. Consider how the case stands with a merely human 
author. An historian has occasion to introduce into 
his narrative the descent of a House, or the preamble 
of an Act, or any other lifeless thing. Does his re- 
sponsibility cease when he comes to it, and recom- 
mence immediately afterwards ? Is he not responsible 
just to the same extent for that, as for every other 
part of his story ? 

That he did not compose it himself, is certain : but 
neither did he compose the sayings which he has recorded 
of great men. True also is it that the edification to 
be derived from the pedigree is not so great, cer- 
tainly, not so obvious, as from certain of the events 
which he describes. But it is nevertheless henceforth 
an integral part of his history. He sought for it, 
and he found it : he weighed it, and he approved of 
it : he transcribed it, and he interwove it into his 
narrative. In a word, he adopted; and by adopt- 
ing, he made it his own. Henceforth, it will be 
quoted as authentic, because it is found to have 
satisfied him. 

The utmost praise which can be accorded to any 
creature is, that it thoroughly fulfils the office where- 
unto GOD sends it. A genealogy is not intended to 
make men wise unto Salvation : the threats and pro- 


mises of GOD'S Law are not intended to acquaint men 
with the descent of David's Son. But because their 
offices are different, it does not follow that their origin 
shall not be the same ! Is a shoe-latchet in any sense 
less an article manufactured by Man, than a watch ? 
Is the Archangel Michael, burning with glory, and 
intent on some celestial enterprise, with twelve legions 
of glittering seraphs in his train ; is such a host as 
that, one atom more a creation of the ALMIGHTY than 
the handful of yellow leaves which nutter unheeded 
on the blast ? 

None of these figures present a strict parallel ; and 
yet, successively, they seem to set forth different 
aspects of the same case, with sufficient vividness 
and truth. ... So bent am I on conveying to your 
minds the strong sense of certainty, the clear definite 
view, which I cherish for myself on this subject, that 
I take leave to add yet another illustration. 

4. If I commission a Servant to deliver a message, 
is not the message which he delivers mine ? If I give 
him words to deliver, are not the words which he 
delivers mine ? So obvious a proposition is no matter 
of opinion. You cannot deny it. Nor, (to apply the 
illustration to the matter in hand,) nor do you deny 
it, probably, so far as Prophecy ', (in the popular sense 
of the term,) is concerned : but you begin to doubt, it 
seems, when any other function of the prophetic office 
is in question. " Any other function," I say ; for, 
(as all men ought to be aware,) a prophet, (nave in 
Hebrew, TrpcxfrrjTrj? in Greek,) does not, by any means, 
of necessity imply one who describes future events. 
YIpo does not denote futurity of time, but vicariousness 
of office. The 7rpo-<pr)Tr]? is one who speaketh TT/JO, 
-" on behalf of," " in the person of," GOD ; whether 


declaring things past, (as when Moses describes the 
Creation of the World, the Fall of Man, the Patri- 
archal Age) : things present, (as when St. Luke, 
" having had perfect understanding of all things from 
the very first," writes of them " in order") : things 
future, (as when David, and Isaiah, and the rest of 
the goodly fellowship, " testified beforehand the suffer- 
ings of CHRIST, and the glory that should follow g .") 
This is no arbitrary statement, but a well-known fact, 
which modern unbelievers and ancient heathen writers 
have declared with sufficient plainness h . 

* 1 St. Peter i. 11. 

h " With the idea of a Prophet," (says Gesenius in his Hebrew 
Lexicon, on the noun,) " there was this necessarily attached ; that 
he spoke not his own words, but those which he had divinely re- 
ceived; (see Philo, t. iv. p. 116, ed. Pfeifferi, Trpofyrris yap Idiov 
fjiev ovftev aTrcx^eyyereu, aAXdrpta 8e iravra VTTTJXOVVTOS crcpov^ ; and that 
he was the messenger of GOD, and the declarer of His will. This 
is clear from a passage of peculiar authority in this matter, (Ex. 
vii. 1,) where GOD says to Moses, 'I have made thee a god to 
Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.' "... Else- 
where, (speaking of the Hebrew verb, 'to prophesy/) Gesenius has 
the following remarkable statement : " The passive forms, Niphal 
and Hithpael, are used in this verb; from the Divine Prophets 
having been supposed to be moved rather by another's powers than 
their own." (Just as if the Oracles of GOD were not express on the 
subject! viz. "No prophecy ever came by the will of Man; but, 
[because they were] borne along ($epo/j,et/oi) by the HOLY GHOST, 
spake those holy men of GOD." 2 St. Pet. i. 21.) 

Upo(f>r)Tr)s, in fact, means ' an interpreter 1 rather than 'a prophet,' 
(for which, in our popular sense, the Greek is rather p.dvrts :) hence 
the use of the words irpo^Tjnjs, Trpo^reixo, npo(f>T]Tia in the New 
Testament, e.g. 1 Thess. v. 20. 1 Cor. xi. 4 : xii. 10. Rom. xii. 6, 
(where see "Wordsworth.) See also 1 Cor. xiv. 1, 3, 4, 5, &c. : in 
all which places, the -rrpo^Trjs was what we should rather now call 
a preacher. But then, the expounding of GOD'S Word is the special 
function of the preacher's office from which he takes this name. 
The reader is referred to Blomfield's Glossary, Agam. v. 399, and to 


So long then as the message which the Servant 
delivers is prophetic, you do not object to the notion 
that it' is GOD'S message ; nay, that the words spoken 
are GOD'S words. You begin to doubt, it seems, 
when a collection of genealogies, (as the two Books 
of Chronicles;) or when a story like that contained 
in the Book of Esther is concerned. 

But what is this but very trifling, and mere child- 
ishness? The message may be mine, it seems, if it 
be of a lofty character : it may not be mine if it be of 
a homely, ordinary kind ! I send a message by my 
Servant, and he delivers it faithfully : but whether it 
is to be .called my message, or is not to be called my 
message, is to depend entirely on the subject-matter ! 
.... Thus, if a King, refusing to appear in person, 
should issue a reprieve to prisoners under sentence 
of Death, a proclamation of Peace or of "War, an 
address to the representatives of the constitution, 
(Clergy, Lords, and Commons,) in parliament assem- 
bled, the message would be his. But if, on the 
contrary, he were only to send a few homely words, 
the expression of some wish or intention which has 
nothing that seems particularly royal in it, then, the 
message would cease to be his ! .... I protest that 
as I am unable to see the reasonableness of such 
a method of regarding things human, so am. I at 
a loss to understand why men should so regard 
things Divine. 

5. This entire matter may be usefully illustrated by 
having recourse to an analogy which was established 
on a former occasion : namely, the analogy between 

Liddell and Scott's Lexicon; (in both of which, some important 
references are given :) also to Trench's Synonyms of the New 
Testament, pp. 22 26. 


the Written and the Incarnate Word \ That our LORD 
JESUS CHRIST is at once very GOD and very Man, we 
all fully admit ; although the manner of the union of 
GODHEAD and Manhood in His one Person we confess 
ourselves quite unable to comprehend. Even so, that 
there is a human as well as a Divine element in Holy 
Scripture, who so blind as to overlook ? who so weak 
as to deny ? And yet, to dissect out that human ele- 
ment, who (but a fool) so rash as to attempt ? . . . . 
To apply this to the matter before us. Certain parts 
of Holy Scripture you think, (for reasons to yourself 
best known,) are not to be looked upon as inspired in 
the same sense as the rest of the volume. Just as 
reasonably might you try to persuade me that our 
SAVIOUR was not in the same sense our SAVIOUR when 
He ate and drank at the Pharisees' board, as when 
He cast out devils and raised the dead. Was He not 
equally the Incarnate WORD at every stage of His 
earthly career; from the time that He was laid in 
the manger, until the instant when He expired upon 
the Cross? The degradation which He endured in 
Pilate's judgment-hall did not affect the reality of the 
great truth that the GODHEAD was indissolubly joined 
to the Manhood in His Person. He was not less very 
GOD as well as very Man when some one spat upon 
Him, than at His Transfiguration and at His Ascen- 
sion into Heaven ! . . . Why then should the mean 
aspect and lowly office of certain parts of Scripture, 
(genealogical details and the narrative of what we 
think ordinary occurrences,) be supposed to disen- 
title those parts to the praise of being as fully inspired 
as any thing in the whole compass of the Bible ? 

1 See above, pp. 2 5. The reader will find an interesting 
passage based on this analogy, in the Appendix (F). 


I may remind you, in passing, that the narrative of 
Scripture, even in its humblest, and (to all appear- 
ance) most human .parts, has a perpetual note of Divi- 
nity set upon it. The historical portions are through- 
out interspersed with indications that the writer is 
beholding the transactions which he records, from 
a Divine, (not a human,) point of view. GOD is in- 
variably, (sooner or later,) mentioned as the Agent ; 
or there is some reference made to GOD ; or to GOD'S 
Word. As Butler expresses it, "The general de- 
sign of Scripture .... may be said to be, to give us 
an account of the world, in this one single view, as 
Govs world: by which it appears essentially distin- 
guished from all other books, so far as I have found, 
except such as are copied from it k ." 

k Analogy, P. n. c. vii. The same thing has been more fully 
expressed in a volume of Sermons which deserves to be far better 
known than it is : " I suppose that if there is one portion of the 
Old Testament which a discriminator would set aside as less needing 
to be reckoned inspired than other parts, it is the Historical ; the 
books which are strictly narrative. Now it may seem to have been 
providentially ordered, in the purpose of meeting this view, that 
these books are made to bear on them most peculiarly the stamp 
and the claim of Inspiration. For they do not profess to be so 
much the account of what Man did, as what GOD did in ruling 
men, and guiding human events. They are a history of a pro- 
vidential course of events, and, (which is the point,) as seen from 
the providential point of view. They are a history written not on 
Earth, but above the skies. Events are spoken of therefore in this 
view. A man's obduracy is recorded thus, ' GOD hardened his 
heart.' A king numbers his people; it is recorded as a thing 
suggested in the spiritual world. In fact, the historic volume of 
the Old Testament is a history of the secret springs of things; it is 
a narrative of things which none but GOD ALMIGHTY could know ; 
not Man's Word therefore at all, but GOD'S." Sermons, by the 
Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 153155. Several other extracts from the 
same suggestive volume of a very excellent Divine, will be found 
in the Appendix. 


I entreat you therefore to disabuse your minds of the 
very weak, aye and very fatal, notion that the cata- 
logue of the Dukes of Edom is less, or in any different 
sense, inspired, from the rest of the narrative in which 
it stands. We may not multiply miracles needlessly, 
it is true ; but neither may we deny the miraculous 
character of certain transactions, (as the two Draughts 
of Fishes,) which, apart from the recorded attendant 
circumstances, would not have been deemed mira- 
culous. In truth, however, Holy Scripture, in one 
sense, is a miracle from end to end; and if we may 
not multiply miracles needlessly, certainly we are not 
at liberty to dismiss the recorded details of a single 
miracle, as of no account. Consider also, I entreat 
you, whether it is credible that Inspiration should be 
a thing of such a nature, that it comes and goes, is 
here and is gone, once and again in the course^of 
a single page. "What ? does it vanish, like lightning, 
when the Evangelist's pen has to record the title on 
the Cross, to re-appear the instant afterwards ? 

This allusion to the title on the Cross of our Blessed 
LORD, variously given by each of the four Evangelists, 
reminds me of the singular perversity of mankind 
when this subject of Inspiration is being treated of; 
and to this, I now particularly desire to invite your 
attention. When a document is simply transcribed 
by the Evangelist, or may be supposed to have been 
merely transferred to his pages, men assert that so 
purely mechanical an act precludes the notion that 
Inspiration has had any share in the transaction. Be 
it so !; Behold now, four inspired writers exhibiting 
the brief title on our LORD'S Cross with considerable 
verbal diversity ; and you will hear the same critics 
open-mouthed against the Evangelists' claim to Inspi- 


ration, for exactly the opposite reason ! It is just so 
of places quoted from the Old Testament in the New. 
Faithful transcription, (we are told,) is in the power 
of all. "What note of an inspired author have we 
here? But the places are not faithfully transcribed. 
On the contrary. They exhibit every possible degree 
of deflection from the original standard. And lo, the 
Apostles of CHRIST are thought not to have quite un- 
derstood Greek, to have mistaken the sense of the 
Hebrew, and to have been the victims of a most 
capricious memory. For the last time. Certain nar- 
rative portions of Holy Scripture, (it is assumed,) 
could have been written without the aid of Inspi- 
ration; and therefore it is unphilosophical, (we are 
told,) to assign to them a divine original. But the 
marvellous parts of Holy Scripture, which seem to 
claim a loftier original than man's unaided wit, 
these you view with suspicion, or you deny ! . . . . 
"Whereunto shall I liken the men of this gene- 
ration ?" 

Before dismissing the subject, I must ask you to 
observe, that this arbitrary, irreverent method of ap- 
proaching Holy Scripture, is absolutely fatal; and 
can result in nothing but general unbelief. It con- 
fessedly leaves the individual reader to decide what 
parts of the Bible he thinks could, what parts could 
not, have been written without Divine assistance; 
a point on which I am bold to say that he is not com- 
petent even to form an opinion. In other words, it 
constitutes every man the judge of how much of the 
Bible he will retain, how much he will reject. To 
put the case yet more plainly, it makes every man 
a GOD to himself, and the maker of his own Bible. 
For, mark you, the exceptions taken against a gene- 


alogy, or a catalogue of names, are just as applicable 
to the account of our LORD'S Discourses as given by 
St. John. Once convince me that the function of 
Inspiration ceases when a genealogy has to be set 
down, because (say you) it requires no Inspiration 
to enable an Evangelist to copy written words; and 
I shall have no difficulty in convincing myself that 
St. John's Gospel, from the xivth to the xviith chap- 
ters inclusive, is not inspired, because I cannot but 
infer that then neither can it require Inspiration to 
enable an Evangelist to copy spoken words. The ori- 
ginal fallacy, I repeat, the irpwrov \jsevdos, con- 
sists in your supposing yourself a competent judge of 
the nature and office of Inspiration ; concerning which, 
in reality, you know nothing. You can but reverently 
examine the phenomena of the Book of Inspiration; 
remembering that you have everything to learn. 

The Bible, it cannot be too often repeated, too 
clearly borne in mind, the Bible must stand or fall, 
or rather, be received or rejected, as a whole. A. 
Divinity hath over-ruled it, that those many Books 
of which it is composed should come to be spoken of 
collectively as if they were one Book. As it was for- 
merly called rj ypafyrj "the Scripture," so is it hap- 
pily called "the Bible" (the Book) now. "Moses 
the Prophets and the Psalms," was the recog- 
nized analysis of the volume of the Old Testament. 
The Gospels, the Epistles, and the Apocalypse, exhi- 
bits the sum of the contents of the New. There is 
no disjoining the Law from the Gospel. There is no 
disconnecting one Book from its fellows. There is 
no eliminating one chapter from the rest. There 
is no taking exception against one set of passages, or 
supposing that Inspiration has anywhere forgotten 


her office, or discharged it imperfectly. All the 
Books of the Bible must stand or fall together. 
" Nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from 
it 1 ." It is a fabric hard as adamant; and the gates 
of Hell will assuredly never prevail against it. But 
remove in thought a single stone; and in thought, 
that goodly work of Lawgivers and Judges Kings 
and Prophets Evangelists and Apostles, collapses 
into a shapeless and unmeaning ruin m . 

Nor may it occasion perplexity, or breed mistrust 
in any thoughtful mind to find this Book of GOD'S 
Law so complex in its character, so various in its 
contents, so fruitful in its difficulties. Might it 
not, on the contrary, have been expected beforehand, 
that some analogy would have been recognizable be- 
tween the general complexion of GOD'S Works and 
of GOD'S Word? While I behold the creatures of 
GOD so various, their functions so marvellous, 
their nature so little understood, the very purpose 
of their creation so great a mystery; shall I think 
it strange that that Book which is but another ex- 
pression of GOD'S Mind and Will, proves diverse in 
texture, and difficult of interpretation ? Shall I grow 
rebellious against the message, because the history 
of it is hid in the long night of ages ; say rather, in 
the counsels of GOD'S inscrutable will ? or shall I be 
incredulous that it comes from Heaven, because I see 
the fingers of a Man's hand writing upon the plaister of 
the wall ? or shall I despise those parts of it of which 
I cannot detect the medicinal value? As there are 
riddles in Nature, so are there riddles in Grace. Ano- 
malies too, it may be, are discoverable in both worlds. 

1 Eccl. iii. 14. So Deut. iv. 2: xii. 32. Rev. xxii. 19. 
m See the Appendix (G). 


Give me leave to add, that as the microscope reveals 
unsuspected wonders in the one, so does minute ex- 
amination bring to light undreamed of perfections in 
the other also; unimagined proofs of divine wisdom, 
and skill But beyond all things, there is per- 
haps this further thing which it behoves us to con- 
sider : that the field of either is very vast ; the sub- 
ject-matter very complex : and as, in one, many Pro- 
fessors are needed, (for the Animal kingdom and the 
Vegetable kingdom are realms apart: the analysis of 
substances, and the structure of the Earth demand the 
undivided attention of different minds;) so does it 
fare with the other also. The languages of Scripture 
are in themselves a mighty study ; and the collation 
of the Text is the portion of a long life. The Law of 
Moses would abundantly engross the time of one who 
should undertake to explain its depths ; as the Gospel 
of JESUS CHRIST would assuredly fill to overflowing 
the soul of another who should desire to appreciate 
its perfections. The Prophetic writings are a distinct 
field of labour. The same may well be said of the 
Epistles of St. Paul. It would be easy to multiply de- 
partments ; for I have said nothing yet of Sacred His- 
tory ; and above all, of Sacred Exegesis. But enough 
has been stated to introduce the remark that consider- 
ing how slenderly one man is able to labour in all 
these various provinces, it behoves each one of us to 
be humble ; and certainly to be a vast deal more mis- 
trustful of ourselves than some of us unhappily seem 
to be ; especially when the errand on which we pro- 
pose to come abroad is the assailing of the authenticity, 
or the morality, or the integrity, or the Inspiration, 
of any part of the Bible. Our own amazing ignorance, 
our many infirmities, our faculties limited on every 



? might well keep us humble in the presence of 
Him whose knowledge is infinite ; whose attributes 
are all perfections ; whose very Name is ALMIGHTY ! 
Shall we, on the contrary, presume to sit in judgment 
upon His Word, which claims to be none other than 
the authentic record of His Providence, the Eeve- 
lation of His very mind and will ? . . . Truly, in this 
behalf, beyond all others, we seem to stand in need of 
the solemn warning : " Dangerous it were for the feeble 
brain of Man to wade far into the doings of the Most 
High: whom although to know be life, and joy to 
make mention of His Name ; yet our soundest know- 
ledge is to know that we know Him not as indeed He 
is, neither can know Him. And our safest eloquence 
concerning Him is our silence, when we confess with- 
out confession that His glory is inexplicable; His 
greatness above our capacity and reach. He is above, 
and we upon earth : therefore it behoveth our words 
to be wary and few n ." 

And this brings me naturally back to the subject of 
my first Sermon from this place ; and enables me to 
conclude, as I began, with an earnest entreaty to the 
younger men present, that, whatever their future 
destination in life may be, but especially if the 
Ministry is to be their high privilege, (and the blessed- 
ness of that choice they can have no idea of, until they 
prove it by experience !) ; an entreaty, I say, that 
they would now be assiduous, and earnest, and regular, 
and punctual, and devout, in their daily study of one 
chapter of the Bible. And while you read the Bible, 
read it believing that you are reading an inspired 
Book : not a Book inspired in parts only, but a Book 
inspired in every part : not a Book unequally inspired, 
n Hooker's Ecd. Pol, B. i. c. ii. 2. 


but all inspired equally: not a Book generally in- 
spired, the substance indeed given by the Spirit, but 
the words left to the option of the writers ; but the 
words of it, as well as the matter of it, all all given 
by GOD. As it is written, " Man shall not live by 
bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of 
the mouth of GOD" 

I illustrated sufficiently, last time, in what way 
fulness of Inspiration is consistent with the expression 
of individual character : even while I availed myself 
of the ancient illustration that an inspired writer 
is like an instrument in the harper's hand . I did 
not, of course, " intend thereby to affirm that the 
Writers of Holy Scripture were constrained to write, 
without any volition or consciousness on their part. 
. . . ALMIGHTY GOD, while He inspired the Writers of 
Scripture, did not impair their moral and intellectual 
faculties, nor destroy their personal identity p ." Let 
me not be told therefore that this is to advocate a 
mechanical theory of Interpretation. Theory I have 
none q . The Bible comes to me as the Word of GOD ; 
and, as the Word of GOD, (the LOED being my helper !) 
I will receive it. I should as soon think of holding 
a theory of Providence and Freewill, as of holding 
a theory of Inspiration. I believe in Providence. I 
know that I am a free agent. And that is enough for 
me. The case of Inspiration seems strictly parallel. 
I believe in the Divine origin of the Bible. I see that 
the writers of the several books wrote like men. ... 

See above, p. 77. 

v The Inspiration of the Bible, Jive Lectures, by Chr. Words- 
worth, D.D. 1861, p. 5. 

^ For some remarks on Theories of Inspiration, see the Ap- 
pendix (H.) 



That outer circle of causation, which, leaving each indi- 
vidual will entirely free, so controuls without coercing, 
so overrules without occasioning, the actions of men, 
that all things shall work together for good in the 
end, and the great designs of GOD'S Providence find 
free accomplishment ; all this, far, far transcends 
your and my powers of comprehension. It is as much 
beyond us as Heaven is higher than the Earth. And, 
in like manner, we must be content to own that Inspi- 
ration, the analysis of which is so favourite a pro- 
blem with this inquisitive age, is far, far above us 
likewise. To St. Luke "it seemed good" to write 
a Gospel ; and doubtless he held high communing on 
the subject, which may, or may not, have sounded 
like ordinary human converse, with St. Paul. St. 
Mark in like sort, beyond a question, enjoyed the help 
of St. Peter, while he wrote his Gospel. But St. Peter 
and St. Mark, and St. Paul and St. Luke, were all 
alike, however unconsciously, held by the Ancient 
of Days within the hollow of His palm ; and, as 
Augustine says, "Whatsoever He willed that we 
should read concerning His acts and sayings, that 
He commissioned the Evangelists to write, as though 
it had been Himself that wrote it r ." The guidance 
was remote, I grant you. The mechanism which 
moved the pens of those blessed writers was far above 
out of their sight; and complex beyond anything 
which the mind of man can imagine; (so that the 
publican lisped of "gold, and silver, and brass 8 ;" 
and the companion of St. Peter, at Kome, wrote Latin 

r " Quicquid Ille de Suis factis et dictis nos legere voluit, hoc 
scribendum illis tanquam Suis manibus imperavit." 
St. Matth. x. 9. 


words in Greek letters*; and the Physician of An- 
tioch withheld the statement fhat the woman who had 
spent all that she had in consulting many physicians, 
"was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse u ;" 
and the beloved disciple perhaps indulged his own 
personal love while he recalled so largely the dis- 
courses of his LORD :) but, for all that, the long se- 
quence of cause and effect existed ; and the other 
end of that golden chain which terminated in the man, 
and the pen, and the ink, and the paper, the other 
end of it, I say, was held fast within the Hand of GOD. 
The method of Inspiration is but another of the 
many thousand marvels which on every side surround 
me; one of the many things I cannot fully under- 
stand, much less pretend to explain. But I may at 
least believe it in silence, and adore*. 

And, (forgive me for keeping you so long; but I 
cannot let you go until I have emptied my heart a little 
more on this great, and most concerning subject ;) 
mark you, Sirs, however reluctant some of you may 
be to admit that you agree with me, you do agree 
with me, almost to a man. For, what mean your 
reasonings on Holy Scripture, your sermons, and 
your dissertations, and your catechizings, your for- 
mulae of belief, and your definitions of Faith, except 
you believe in a vast deal more than the substance of 
Holy Scripture ? How can you pretend to expound 
a text, unless you hold the words of that text to be 
inspired ? What inferences can you venture to draw 
from words, the Divinity of which you dare not affirm ? 

*' E. g. Kfirrvpicov : (TTTfKouAareop '. 
n Comp. St. Luke viii. 43, \vitli St. Mark v. 26. 
* The reader will be grateful for a beautiful and highly suggestive 
passage from Eden's Sermons, in the Appendix (I.) 


0, to what endless, hopeless scepticism are you point- 
ing the way ! "What a variety of most unanswerable 
questionings will you provoke ! How can you hope 
ever to convince or convict, if you begin by acquaint- 
ing your adversary that it is only for the substantial 
verity of Scripture that you claim Inspiration; the 
verbal details being quite a different matter ! See you 
not that you put into his hands a weapon with which 
he will infallibly slay yourself? Did the Bishops and 
Doctors of the Church, when they met in solemn 
Council, did they hold such a theory concerning 
Holy Scripture, think you, as that the matter of it 
alone is Divine, the language human ? More briefly, 
that the words of Scripture are not inspired? What 
then mean their weighty definitions of Doctrine ; 
GOD the FATHER, " Maker of Heaven and Earth," 
GOD the SON, " by whom all things were made :" 
the SON, " 0eo$" e/c 0eoO," " being of one substance 
with the FATHER:" " incarnate by the HOLY GHOST 
of the Yirgin Mary :" who " descended into Hell" 
"whose kingdom shall have no end:" the HOLY 
GHOST, "TO Kvpiov KOL TO fcooTnnW," "who pro- 
ceedeth from the FATHER and the SON?" What 
means every article of that Creed to which you and I 
have given our unfeigned assent, and which Atha- 
nasius would have gladly subscribed to, the most 
precious jewel in the Church's casket ! Nay, what 
means St. Paul's commentary on the history of Mel- 
chizedek, if the very words omitted from Holy Scrip- 
ture are not a Divine omission ? 

You will perhaps be told hereafter, (I am speaking 
now to the younger men,) that quite fatal to this view 
of the question, is the state of the Text of Scripture : 
that no one can maintain that the words of Scripture 


are inspired, because no one can tell for certain what 
the words of Scripture are ; or something to that effect. 
Now I will not stop to expose the falsity of this charge 
against the text of Scripture ; (which is implied to be 
a very corrupt text, whereas, on the contrary, it is 
the best ascertained text of any ancient writing in the 
world.) Eather let me remind you, once and for ever, 
how to refute this silly sophism, the transparent fal- 
lacy of which one would have thought unworthy of 
exposure before men of trained understandings ; but 
that one hears it urged so often and so confidently. 
See you not that the state of the text of the Bible has 
no more to do with the Inspiration of the Bible, than 
the stains on yonder windows have to do with the 
light of GOD'S Sun ? Let me illustrate the matter, 
(though it surely cannot need illustration !) by sup- 
posing the question raised whether Livy did or did 
not write the history which goes under his name. 
You, (suppose,) are persuaded that he did, J, that 
he did not. So far, we should both understand, and 
perhaps respect one another. But what if I were to 
go on to condemn your opinion as untenable, because 
of the corrupt state of Livy's text? Would you not 
reply that I mistook the question entirely : that you 
were speaking of the authorship of the work, not 
about the fate of the copies! . . . Suppose, however, 
I were to contend that Livy may indeed have fur- 
nished the matter of his history, but that the form 
of expression must needs have been supplied by some 
one else ; still on the same ground of the corrupt state 
of the historian's text. What would you think of me 
then? a man who not only confounded two things 
utterly dissimilar, (the authorship of a book, and 
the amount of care with which it had been transcribed 


and printed ;) but who was for distinguishing the 
mind of the writer from the expression of that mind ; 
the thoughts, from the words which are essential to 
their transmission ! A hopelessly illogical person, 
surely ! 

no, Sirs ! Banish the fancy at once and for ever 
from your minds. You cannot thus dissect Inspi- 
ration into substance and form. It is a mere delu- 
sion of these last days, prated of from man to man, 
until respectable persons begin to give in to the fal- 
lacy; and persuade themselves that they themselves 
believe it. They hope thus to avoid the danger which 
is supposed to attach to hearty belief in the Bible as 
the very Word of GOD ; as well as to secure for them- 
selves a side-door, (so to speak,) by which to escape, 
whenever they are inconveniently hard pressed. How 
much more faithful, to leave GOD to take care of His 
own ! How much more manly, to be prepared some- 
times to confess ignorance ! ... As for thoughts being 
inspired, apart from the words which give them ex- 
pression, you might as well talk of a tune without 
notes, or a sum without figures. No such dream can 
abide the daylight for a moment. No such theory 
of Inspiration, (for a theory it is, and a most auda- 
cious one too !), is even. intelligible. It is as illogical 
as it is worthless ; and cannot be too sternly put down. 
The philosophical mind of Greece, (far better taught !), 
knew of only one word for both Eeason and the ex- 
pression of it. Lodged within the chambers of the 
brain, or put forth into living energy, it was still, 
with them, the Ao-yos. I invite you, as the only in- 
telligible view of the matter, your only alternative, 
unless you resolve to run the risk of the most irra- 
tional rationalism, to take this high view of Inspi- 


ration : to believe, concerning the Bible, that it is in 
the most literal sense imaginable, verily and indeed, 
the Word of GOD. 

And do you, (for I am still addressing myself to 
the younger men,) learn to put away from your 
souls that vile indifferentism which is becoming the 
curse of this shallow and unlearned age. Ee as for- 
giving as you please of indignities offered to your- 
selves; but do not be ashamed to be very jealous 
for the honour of the LORD of Hosts ; and to resent 
any dishonour offered to Him, with a fiery indig- 
nation utterly unlike anything you could possibly feel 
for a personal wrong. Attend ever so little to the 
circumstance, and you will perceive that every form 
of fashionable impiety is one and the same vile thing 
in the essence of it : still Antichrist, disguise it how 
you will. We were reminded last Sunday that the 
sensualist, by following the gratification of his own 
unholy desires, in bold defiance of GOD'S known Law, 
is in reality setting himself up in the place of GOD, 
and becoming a GOD unto himself 7 . The same is 
true of the Idolatry of Human Eeason ; and of Phy- 
sical Science: as well as of that misinformed Moral 
Sense which finds in the Atonement of our LORD no- 
thing but a stone of stumbling and a snare. It is 
true of Popish error also ; for what else is this but 
a setting up of the Human above the Divine, (Tra- 
dition, the worship of the Blessed Virgin, the casuistry 
of the Confessional, and the like,) and so, once more 
substituting the creature for the Creator? "What 
again is the fashionable intellectual sin of the day, 
but the self- same detestable offence, under quite a 
different disguise ? The idea of Law, (that old idea 

y Alluding to a sermon preached by the Provost of Queen's. 


which, is declared to be only now emerging into su- 
premacy in Science,) takes the hideous shape of re- 
bellion against its Maker ; and pronounces, now Mira- 
cles, now Prophecy, now Inspiration itself, to be a thing 
impossible; or is content to insinuate that the dis- 
closures of Kevelation are at least untrue. What is 
this, I say, but another form of the self-same iniquity, 
a setting up of the creature before the Creator who 
is blessed for evermore ; a substitution of some created 
thing in the place of GOD ! 

The true antidote to all such forms of impiety, 
believe me, is not controversy of any sort ; but the 
childlike study of the Bible, each one for himself, 
not without prayer. Humble must we be, as well as 
assiduous ; for the powers of the mind as well as the 
affections of the heart should be prostrated before the 
Bible, or a man will derive little profit from his study 
of it. Humble, I repeat, for mysteries, (remember), 
are revealed unto the meek 2 ; and the fear of the 
LORD is the beginning of Wisdom a ; and he that 
would understand more than the Ancients must keep 
GOD'S precepts b ; and it is the commandments of the 
LORD which give light unto the eyes c . The dutiful 
student of the Bible is permitted to see the mist melt 
away from many a speculative difficulty ; and is many 
a time reminded of that saying of his LORD, " Do 
ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, 
neither the power of GoD d ?" . . . The humble and 
attentive reader of the Bible becomes impressed at 
last with a sense of its Divinity, analogous I suppose 
to the conviction of Eleven of the Apostles that the 
Man they walked with was none other than the 

z Ecclus. iii. 19. * Ps. c ^ JQ. Prov. ix. 10. 

b Ps. cxix. 100. ' Ps. xix. 8. d St. Mark xii. 24. 


of GOD. That similarity of allusion, that sameness 
of imagery, that oneness of design, that uniformity 
of sentiment, that ever-recurring anticipation of the 
Gospel message; alt goes to produce a secret and 
sure conviction that every writer, under whatever 
variety of circumstances, had access to but one Trea- 
sury, drew from but one and the same Well of living 
water. Marks of purpose, shewn in the choice or 
collocation of single words, often strike an attentive 
reader; which, singly, might be thought fortuitous; 
but which, collectively, can only be accounted for on 
a very different principle. The beautiful structure 
of the Gospels strikes him especially ; and he could 
as soon believe that a song harmonized for four Angel 
voices had been the result of accident, as that the 
Evangelists had achieved their task without special 
aid, throughout, from Heaven. A lock of very com- 
plicated mechanism, which four keys of most peculiar 
structure will open simultaneously, must have been 
as evidently made for them, as they for it. 

It is almost treason, in truth, to the Majesty of 
Heaven to discuss" the Bible on the low ground which 
I have been hitherto forced to occupy. It is quite 
monstrous, in the first University of the most favoured 
of Christian lands, that a man should be compelled 
thus to lift up his voice in defence of the very In- 
spiration of GOD'S "Word. that Divine narrative, 
which is for ever rending aside the veil, and disclos- 
ing to us the counsels of the presence-chamber of the 
ALMIGHTY ! those human characters, beset with 
all the infirmities of our fallen nature, whose words 
and actions yet are shadows of things heavenly and 
eternal ! O that majestic retinue of types which, 
from the very birthday of recorded Time, heralded the 


approach of the King of Glory ! that scarlet thread 
which runs through all the seemingly tangled web of 
Scripture, to terminate only in the cross of CHRIST ! 
How do the features of the Gospel struggle into sight 
through the veil of the Law ! How do the holy and 
humble men of heart ever and anon break out into 
speech, as it were, before the time ; as if they felt 

the burden of silence too great to be endured ! 

"Whence is it that we dare to handle the pages of 
GOD'S Book as if they were a common thing, doubt- 
ing, questioning, cavilling, disbelieving, denying ? 
Why choose for ourselves the soldiers' part, who 
buffeted, reviled, smote, spat upon Him ? . . . my 
friends, far, far be all this from you and from me ! 
Never imagine, because this day we have thus spoken, 
that such discussions are congenial to us ; or that we 
deem them the proper theme for addresses from the 
pulpit ; although the coincidence of this day's Collect 
seems, for once, to lend a kind of sanction to our pre- 
sent endeavours. Look through the whole range of 
patristic homilies, and you will not find one of the 
kind, with which, unhappily, our ears are grown so 
familiar in this place, ingenious attempts to evacuate 
Holy Writ of its fulness, on the one hand ; or apo- 
logies of some sort for its Divinity and Inspiration, 
on the other. You will take, if you are wise, far, 
far higher ground, in your private study of its pages ; 
remembering that "the most generous faith is in- 
variably the truest ;" nor ever stoop so low as we 
have been this day doing. Waste not thy precious 
time in cavil about the structure of the casket which 
contains thy treasure ; but unlock it once with the 
Key of Faith, and make thyself rich indeed. Already, 
(as we were last week reminded), already the 


Judge standeth at the door ; and assuredly, thou and 
I, (to whom GOD hath entrusted so much !) shall have 
to render a very strict account of the use we have 
made of the Bible, when we shall stand face to face 
with its undoubted Author. The season of the year 
reminds us, as with a trumpet, of that tremendous 
hour when the veil will be withdrawn from our eyes, 
and the office of Faith will be ended, and we shall 
be confronted with One who hath " a vesture dipped 
in blood, and whose Name is called THE WORD OP 
GOD." . . . " /have heard of Thee," (we shall, every one 
of us, exclaim), " I have heard of Thee, by the hearing 
of the ear ; but now, mine eye seeth Thee 6 !" 

Job xlii. 5. 



THEEE is yet another view of the nature and office 
of Inspiration, another ' Theory' as it would perhaps 
aspire to be called, which limits the extent of the 
Divine help and guidance which the writers, con- 
fessedly inspired, may be supposed to have enjoyed. 
According to this view, it is admitted that Inspiration 
was, from first to last, a continuous influence ; exerted 
equally throughout : but then, it has been suggested 
that perhaps its office was not to protect a Writer 
against a certain class of errors. The office of the 
Bible, (it is argued,) is to make men wise unto Salva- 
tion. It does not follow that Inspiration, because it 
guided a sacred writer so long as he wrote of Chris- 
tian Doctrine, so as to make what he wrote unerr- 
ingly true, should have protected him against slips of 
memory; preserved him from inaccuracies of state- 
ment; from inconclusive reasonings; from incorrect 
quotations ; from mistaken inferences ; from scientific 
errors. This is what is said : and because this is 
a view of the question which is observed to recom- 
mend itself occasionally to candid, and even to reve- 
rential minds, it seems to deserve distinct and care- 
ful consideration. 

But I must preface all I have to reply by remarking 
that " a Book cannot [properly] be said to be inspired, 
or to carry with it the authority of being GOD'S Word, 
if only portions come from Him, and there exists no 
plain and infallible sign to indicate which those por- 


tions are ; and if the same Writer may give us in one 
verse of the Bible a revelation from the MOST HIGH, 
and in the next verse a blunder of his own. How can 
we be certain, that the very texts, upon which we 
rest our doctrines and hopes, are not the uninspired 
portions ? "What can be the meaning or nature of an 
Inspiration to teach Truth, which does not guarantee 
its recipient from error?" So far a living sceptical 

1. Now, the first thing which strikes one in this 
theory, is its extreme vagueness. We hardly know 
what we have to consider; for nothing is definitely 
stated. Neither are we informed how many of the 
phenomena of Inspiration, this view is intended to 
explain. Again, does the theory apply equally to the 
Old Testament and to the New ? If it does apply 
equally to the Old Testament, (and I can see no 
possible reason why it should not^) then, I apprehend 
this theory will be found practically to run up into, 
and to identify itself with, that last described a . For 
a guidance which has failed to guide^ has been no guid- 
ance at all; and since whole chapters of the Old 
Testament will occur to every one's memory which 
may be thought to have no connexion whatever with 
4 Christian Doctrine,' to conduce wondrous little to 
the ' making men wise unto Salvation,' it will follow 
that Inspiration is, according to this theory, in effect, 
of the nature already described, namely, a quality 
which can never be predicated of any passage of 
Scripture with entire certainty. The larger part of 
the Old Testament in fact, by this theory, is exhibited 
in the light of a common book ; having no pretension 
to be regarded as part of the Inspired Canon. 

8 See above, p. 9599. 


But if this theory simply shirks the question of the 
Old Testament, then, those who are inclined to accept 
it, are bound to explain why there should be one 
theory of Inspiration applicable to the Old Testament, 
and another for the New : in which difficulty, I must 
candidly profess that I am not able to render any 
assistance at all. It is clearly not allowable to over- 
look the intimate connexion which subsists between 
the two great divisions of Holy Scripture ; the habi- 
tual references of the Writers of the New Testament 
to the writers of the Old, Moses, David, Isaiah, and 
the rest; or rather, to the utterance of the HOLY 
GHOST, speaking ly the mouth of those writers. What- 
ever may have been the Inspiration of the Authors of 
the New Testament must be assumed to have been 
that of the Authors of the Old Testament also. 

2. But further, (to confine our remarks to the 
Scriptures of the New Testament ; which, it is mani- 
fest, the view under consideration specially contem- 
plates ;) however plausible in the abstract a theory 
may sound, which would account for a Chronological 
difficulty, the insertion of what seems to be a wrong 
name, a quotation made with singular license, an 
unscientific statement, the apparent inconsistency of 
two or more accounts of one and the same transaction, 
in respect of lesser details, a (supposed) inconclusive 
remark, or specimen of reasoning which seems to be 
fallacious ; on the supposition that it is not the office 
of Inspiration to enlighten the understanding on points 
like these, or to preserve the pen from error ; how- 
ever plausible, I say, this theory, abstractedly con- 
sidered, may appear ; it will be found that it will not 
bear the searching test of a practical application. 

It would indeed be a great advantage to the cause 


of Truth, and a great help to individual minds, as well 
as wonderfully promote the arriving at a sound con- 
clusion in this perilous . department of speculative 
Divinity, if, instead of putting up with a vague 
theory, (like the present,) regardless of its logical 
bearings and necessary issues; men would compel 
themselves to apply their view to the actual pheno- 
mena of Holy Scripture : to carry it out to its legi- 
timate consequences, and steadily to contemplate the 
result. I venture to predict that the theory which we 
are now considering, when submitted to such a test, 
would be found not only inconvenient, but absolutely 
untenable. The inconsistency and absurdity which re- 
sults from it, can, I think, easily be made to appear. 

For if any one who is disposed to regard it with 
favour, instead of idly, (as is the way with nine- 
tenths of mankind,) repeating the formula in terms 
more or less vague and indefinite; and straightway 
wincing, falling back on generalities, and in a word 
shirking the point, the instant it is proposed to bring 
the question to a definite issue ; if a favourer of the 
present theory I say, instead of so acting, would take 
up a copy of the New Testament, and proceed, with 
a pen in his hand, to apply the theory, by running 
his pen through the places, (and they must be capable 
of individual specification !), which he suspects of 
being external to the influence of Inspiration; or, if 
you please, which he thinks have been penned with- 
out that Divine help which makes what is written 
infallible ; I venture to predict that such an one will 
speedily admit that his erasures are either so very 
few, or so very many, as to be fatal to the theory of 
which they are the expression. 

If they be confined to " the fifteenth year of Tibe- 



rius b ; to the names of the second Cainan c , Cyrenius d , 
Abiathar 6 , i Jeremy the prophet f ;' to "the sixth 
hour g ," and so on; no great inconvenience truly 
will result. But the instant you go a step further, 
the difficulty begins. Many of the quotations from 
the Old Testament may be made to correspond with 
the Hebrew, doubtless, without sensible inconveni- 
ence : but there are others which refuse the process. 
However, let it be supposed that all such indications 
of imperfect memory, or misapprehension of the sense 
of the Hebrew Scriptures, have been removed; and 
here and there, that an irrelevant clause in the 
reasoning has been lopped off, or an unscientific re- 
mark expunged. After all this has been done, I ven- 
ture to say that the result will be the reverse of 
satisfactory, even to the theorist himself. He will 
infallibly exclaim secretly, I seem to have gained 
wondrous little by this corrective process. Was it 
worth while, in order to achieve this, to tamper with 
the Divine Oracles? The great body of Scripture 
remains after all, in all its strangeness, all its per- 
plexing individuality. Meanwhile, piety and wisdom 
modestly suggest, Is it reasonable to think that 
Evangelists and Apostles should have stumbled, like 
children, before dates, and names, and quotations from 
their own Scriptures ? Surely if this be all that can 
be objected against the Bible, the very slenderness of 

the charge becomes its sufficient refutation ! 

The erasures are so few, in fact, that they refute the 

But if, on the other hand, the pen be freely used, 
then the result will be fatal to the theory, because it 

b St. Luke iii. 1. c j^ ^ 36> a Ibid ^ 2 . 

St. Mark ii. 26. ' St. Matth. xxvii. 9. * St. John xix. 14. 


will be fatal to the record. If an ' Essayist and Re- 
viewer' were to reduce the Gospels to consistency, 
according to his view of consistency, the Gospels 
would scarcely be recognizable. If he were to reject 
from St. Paul's writings every instance of what he 
thinks fanciful exposition, illogical reasoning, inexact 
quotation, and mistaken inference; the result would 
be altogether unmanageable. For any one who at- 
tends to the matter will perceive that such things 
run into the very staple of the Apostle's argument; 
and therefore cannot be detached without destroying 
the whole. The householder's reason for not remov- 
ing the tares, ("lest while ye gather up the tares ye 
root up also the wheat with them h ,") applies exactly. 
If St. Paul's exposition of Melchizedek be fanciful and 
untrustworthy, then does the proof of the superiority 
of our SAVIOUR'S Priesthood over that of Aaron, fall 
to the ground. If his handling of the story of Sarah 
and Hagar be an uninspired allegory, then does his 
argumentation respecting the rejection of the Jews 
and the calling of the Gentiles disappear. If the fur- 
niture of the Temple, and the provisions of the Jewish 
ritual, were not dictated by the SPIRIT of GOD *, then 
will the Epistle wherein it is found be reduced to 
proportions which make it meaningless. If Deuter- 
onomy xxv. 4 has no reference to the Christian Mi- 
nistry, then the entire context (in two of St. Paul's 
Epistles) must go at once k It is useless to mul- 
tiply such instances. Any one familiar with the wri- 
tings of St. Paul will know the truth of what has been 
offered ; and will admit that the erasures required by 
the theory before us will become so numerous as to 

h St. Matth. xiii. 29. Heb. ix. 8. 

k 1 Cor. ix. 9 and 1 Tim. v. 18. 


prove, (to a devout mind at least, or indeed to any 
one of sense and candour,) that the theory is alto- 
gether untenable. 

It cannot escape observation, therefore, that how- 
ever plausible this view of Inspiration may sound, as 
long as some few petty historical, chronological, and 
scientific inaccuracies are all that have to be accounted 
for; the theory (unhappily) proves worthless when 
it comes to be practically applied; inasmuch as in 
the writings of St. Paul, for example, there is little 
or nothing of the kind just specified, to be condoned. 
Erroneous dates, unscientific statements, wrong names, 
and the like, form no part of the staple of the New 
Testament. Such instances may be counted on one's 
fingers ; and are to be sufficiently explained to render 
any special theory of Inspiration in order to meet 
them, quite a gratuitous exercise of ingenuity. 

3. On the other hand, if a wider class of phenomena 
is to be dealt with by this theory, the reader is re- 
quested to observe that we involve ourselves in a gross 
contradiction; for we forsake the very principle on 
which it pretends to be built. The theory set out by 
reminding us that "the office of the Bible is to make 
men wise unto Salvation," not to teach physical 
Science, nor to deal with facts in chronology and the 
like : and the plea was allowed. But the theory which 
was devised to account for one class of phenomena is 
now most unwarrantably applied to account for an- 
other. "We have travelled into a widely different sub- 
ject-matter, namely, Divinity proper ! Let it there- 
fore be respectfully asked, If the Inspiration which 
the Apostles enjoyed did not preserve them against 
unsound inferences in respect of Holy Scripture ; and 
illogical, inconclusive argumentation in things Divine ; 


pray, of what use was it ? We have not been re- 
viewing a set of Geological mistakes on the part of the 
great Apostle. To Physical Science, he has scarcely 
so much as a single allusion. He deals with Christian 
Doctrine ; with Divinity, properly so called ; and with 
that only. Pray, was not Inspiration a sufficient guide 
to him, there ? 

4. It is high time also to remind the reader that 
although the office of the Bible, confessedly, is " to 
make men wise unto Salvation," it does not by any 
means follow that that is its only office. In other 
words, we have no right to assume that we know all 
the possible ends for which the Bible was designed ; 
and to lay it down, as if it were an ascertained fact, 
that it was not designed to enlighten men in matters 
of Chronology, History, and the like ; seeing, on the 
one hand, that all the evidence we are able to adduce 
in support of such an opinion, does not establish so 
much as a faint presumption that any part of Scripture 
is uninspired ; and seeing that, on the other, as a plain 
matter of fact, historical details constitute so large a 
part of the contents of the Bible ; and that the sacred 
volume is the sole depository of the History and Chro- 
nology of the World for by far the largest portion of 
the interval since that World's Creation. 

5. In passing, it may also be reasonably declared, 
that it is to take a very derogatory view of the result 
of the HOLY SPIRIT'S influence, to suppose that imper- 
fections and inaccuracies can freely abound, nay, can 
exist at all, in a Eevelation which the same HOLY 
SPIRIT is believed to have inspired. They ought surely 
to be demonstrated to exist, before we are called upon 
to listen to the apologies which have been invented 
to account for their existence ! 


6. Let me also advert to a dilemma which seems 
hardly ever to obtain from a certain class of critics the 
attention it deserves. If a writing be not inspired, 
it is of no absolute authority. If a part of a writing 
be not inspired, that part is of no absolute authority. 
If a single word in the text of Holy Scripture be even 
uncertain, (as, for example, whether we are to read 
02 or EOS in 1 Tim. iii. 16,) that word becomes with- 
out absolute authority. We cannot venture to adduce 
it in proof of anything. Without therefore, in the 
remotest degree, desiring to discourage the applica- 
tion of a true theory of Inspiration to the phenomena 
of Holy Scripture, through fear of the necessary con- 
sequences, may we not call attention to the manifest 
awkwardness of a theory which no one knows how to 
apply, and about the application of which no two men 
will ever be agreed? the issue of the discussion 
being, in every case, neither more nor less than this, 
whether the portion of Scripture under consideration 
is Human, and therefore of no. absolute authority ; or 
Divine, and therefore infallible ! 

7. A far more important consideration remains to 
be offered, and with this I shall conclude. Although, 
when St. Paul appears to reason inconclusively, some 
of us do not hesitate to refer the Apostle's (supposed) 
imperfect logic to his personal infirmity, yet, com- 
mon piety revolts against the proposal to apply the 
same solution to the same phenomenon when it is 
observed to occur in the Discourses of our Blessed 
LORD Himself. It seems to have been providentially 
ordained, however, that the discourses of CHRIST Him- 
self should supply examples of every one of those 
difficulties which it is thought lawful to account for, 
when an Apostle or an Evangelist is the speaker, 


on the hypothesis of partial, imperfect, or suspended 
Inspiration. Now, since /, at least, shall not be per- 
mitted to be either vague or general, I proceed to 
subjoin the proof of what has been thus advanced : 

. The well-known difficulty about "the days of 
Abiathar," is found in one of our LOR&S discourses 1 . 
Here then is a case of what, if an Evangelist or an 
Apostle had been the author of the statement, would 
have been called an historical inaccuracy. 

/?. However unworthy of scientific attention the 
Mosaic account of the descent of Mankind from a 
single pair may be deemed, the universality of ( the 
Noachian Deluge,' the destruction of the Cities of the 
plain, the fate of Lot's wife, Jonah in the fish's 
belly, and so forth; to all these (supposed) un- 
scientific statements our Blessed LORD commits Him- 
self unequivocally 111 . 

y. When the Holy One inferred the Eesurrection 
of the Dead from the words spoken to Moses "in the 
bush n ;" when He proved that CHRIST is not the son of 
David, because " David in spirit calls Him ' LORD ;' " 
and when He shewed from a clause in the 6th verse 
of the Ixxxiind Psalm, ("I said ye are gods,") that it 
was not unlawful for Himself to claim the title of SON 
of GOD p ; I humbly think that the argumentation is 
of such a nature as would not produce conviction in 
captious minds cast in a modern mould q . I desire not 

> St. Mark ii. 26. 

m All will be found more fully insisted upon at the beginning of 
the Vllth Sermon. 

n St. Luke xx. 37-8. 

St. Matth. xxii. 41-6. 

p St. John x. 34-6. 

<i < Essayists and Reviewers' would reply, that in the first instance, 
the supposed inference has no connexion with the premisses : that 


to dwell longer upon this subject ; and only hope in 
what I have ventured to say concerning some of the 
recorded sayings of Him to whose creative Power and 
Goodness I am indebted for the exercise of my own 
reason, I have not written amiss. But the point of 
what I am urging is, that I defy any one to bring 
a charge of faulty logic against passages in St. Paul's 
Epistles which might not, with the same show of reason, 
be brought against certain of our LORD'S recorded 

5. When the Chief Priests and Scribes remonstrated 
with our LORD because of the children crying in the 
Temple ; and asked Him, " Hearest Thou what these 
say?" He replied, " Yea, have ye never read, c Out 
of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast per- 
fected praise r V " . . . Now, this quotation from the 
viiith Psalm is what an i Essayist or Ee viewer' would 
have pronounced irrelevant. 

6. It seems clear from Gen. ii. 24, that Mam was 
the author of the words, " Therefore shall a man leave 
his father and his mother," &c. And yet, our LORD 
(in St. Matth. xix. 4, 5,) as unmistakeably seems to 
make GOD the Speaker. An Evangelist or an Apo- 
stle would be thought here to have made a slip of 

?. In St. John viii. 47, the following words occur. 
"He that is of GOD heareth GOD'S words: ye there- 
in the second, (1) it has to be proved that the person intended in 
Psalm ex. is CHRIST; and (2) it does not follow, because David 
calls him "lord," that the person so spoken of is not his " son :" 
that in the third instance, ' gods' is used in Psalm Ixxxii. of earthly 
rulers ; whereas, when our SAVIOUR called Himself " the SON of 
GOD," He claimed to be " of one substance wth the FATHER, 
GOD of GOD." 

' St. Matth. xxi. 16. 


fore hear them not, because ye are not of GOD." This 
passage (as already pointed out 8 ,) has been adduced 
by one who now occupies an Archiepiscopal throne, as 
containing a logical fallacy. 

Many more examples might be adduced : but these 
will suffice. It is plain that when the like phenomena 
are observed in the writings of Apostles and Evan- 
gelists, we need not, in order to account for them, 
have recourse to any theory of partial or imperfect In- 
spiration; since nothing of the kind is supposed ne- 
cessary when they occur in the Discourses of our 
LORD. As much as I care to offer on the subject of 
Inspired Reasoning will be found in the course of the 
Sixth of these Sermons, where the Doctrine of ' Accom- 
modation' is considered. 

See above, p. 4. 

To say that the Scriptures, and the things contained in them, 
can have no other or farther meaning than those persons thought or 
had, who first recited or wrote them; is evidently saying, that 
those persons were the original, proper, and sole Authors of those 
Books, i.e. that they are not inspired: which is absurd, whilst the 
authority of those Books is under examination ; i. e. till you have 
determined they are of no Divine authority at all. Till this be 
determined, it must in all reason be supposed, (not indeed that they 
have, for this is taking for granted that they are inspired ; but) that 
they may have, some farther meaning than what the compilers saw 
or understood. 

BISHOP BFTLEE, Analogy, P. n. ch. vii. 

As the Literal sense is, as it were, the main stream or river, so 
the Moral sense chiefly, and sometimes the Allegorical or Typical, 
are they whereof the Church hath most use : not that I wish men 
to be bold in allegories, or indulgent or light in allusions ; but that 
I do much condemn that Interpretation of the Scripture which is 
only after the manner as men use to interpret a profane look. 

LOED BACON, Advancement of Learning. 

THE Book of this Law we are neither able nor worthy to open 
and look into. That little thereof which we darkly apprehend, we 
admire ; the rest, with religious ignorance we humbly and meekly 

HOOKEE, JSccl Pol, B. i. c. ii. 5. 


A0r02 0EOY. 



ST. MATTHEW iv. 4. 

It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every 
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD. 

TT is impossible to preserve exact method in Sermons 
-1 like these, uncertain in number, and delivered at 
irregular intervals. It shall only be stated that, having 
already spoken at considerable length, of the INSPI- 
RATION of Holy Scripture; not, one part more, one 
part less, but every part equally inspired throughout ; 
not general, (whatever the exact notion may be of 
a book generally inspired,) but particular, by which I 
mean that every word is none other than the utterance 
of the HOLT GHOST b : having, moreover, explained the 

* Preached at St. Mary-the- Virgin, on the Third Sunday in Lent, 
March 3rd, 1861. 

b " It cannot be said that this, [viz. that the Bible is the Word of 
GOD,'] is always remembered. It cannot be said that they who 
write respecting the Bible, even Christian writers who are looked 
up to, always appear to have been in that frame of mind while con- 
templating the statements of the Sacred Volume, which they, the 
same men, would have been in if they had been listening for a voice 
out of a cloud; a word reaching them which was simply, and in that 
sense, the Word of GOD. Yet the Sacred Volume comes to us with 


reasonableness, (the logical necessity, as it seems,) 
of giving such an account of the Bible ; I propose 
to-day to proceed to the subject of INTERPRETATION. 
Eeally, it has become the fashion of a School of un- 
belief which has lately emerged into infamous noto- 
riety, to deal with both these questions in so insolent 
a style of dogmatism, that the preacher is compelled 
to halt in limine ; and to explain that he begs that no 
offence may be taken at the account which he has just 
given of the Bible ; for that really he means no more 
than Bp. Pearson meant when he said that " the Scrip- 
ture phrase" is " the Language of the HOLY GHOST* :" 
that he desires to say no other thing than what He 
said, by whose Spirit, (as St. Peter declares d ,) the pro- 
phets prophesied ; the preacher, I say, wishes to ex- 
plain that he desires to mean no other thing than our 
LORD JESUS CHRIST Himself meant, when He spoke of 
" every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD" 

I. INTERPRETATION, then, in the largest sense of the 
term, I take to denote the discovery of the method 
and meaning of Holy Scripture. I exclude those 
critical labours which merely aim at establishing a 
correct text. I exclude also the learning which 
merely investigates the grammatical force of single 
words. True, that even to translate is often to inter- 
pret; but this results only from the imperfection of 
language, which can seldom represent the words of 
one idiom by the words of another, without at the 

no less claims than as conveying such a message; and on every 
feature of it, it carries that claim. It professes to be this, an 
account of what went on in the secret council-chamber of the MOST 
HIGH." Eden's Sermons, pp. 150-1. 

c Exposition of the Creed, Art. II. (" Our LOBD,") vol. i. p. 183. 

d 1 St. Peter i. 11. 


same time parting with the associations which belong 
to the old words, and importing those which are in- 
separable from the new. Moreover, except occasion- 
ally, it is presumed that the lore of the Antiquary, 
Geographer, and so forth, does not aspire to the dig- 
nity of Interpretation. To be brief, whatever simply 
puts us on a level with ordinary hearers of ancient 
days; does no more than inform us what custom, 
locality, or date is intended by the sacred writer; 
(things which once were obvious, and which ought not 
to be any difficulty now ;) all this, I say, seems ex- 
ternal to the province of Interpretation ; the purpose 
of which is to discover the method and the meaning of 
Holy Writ. And I find that every extant specimen 
of this sacred Science is either (1) what GOD hath 
Himself revealed ; or (2) what the Church hath with 
authority delivered; or (3) what individuals have 
thought themselves competent to declare. 

Of these three authorities concerning the sense of 
Scripture, it is evident that the last-named is enti- 
tled to least notice. So unimportant indeed is it, as 
scarcely to be of any weight at all. What one indi- 
vidual asserts, on his own unsupported authority, an- 
other individual may, with as much or as little au- 
thority, deny ; and who is to decide ? 

But the authority indicated in the second place, 
clearly challenges very different attention. When, for 
example, our own Hooker declares, concerning the 5th 
verse of the iiird chapter of St. John, that " of all the 
ancients there is not one to be named that ever did other- 
wise expound or allege this place than as implying ex- 
ternal Baptism 6 ," we perceive at once that such consent, 
on the part of men in whose ears the echoes of the Apo- 

e Eccl. Pol., B. v. c. lix. 3. 


stolic Age had not yet quite ceased to vibrate ; and 
who were themselves professors of that Divine Science 
which takes cognizance of the subject-matter in hand : 
such general consent of Antiquity, I say, on a 
point of Interpretation, must evidently be held to be 

"Keligio mini est, eritque, contra torrentem om- 
nium Patrum, Sanctas Scripturas interpretari ; nisi 
quando me argumenta cogunt evidentissima, quod 
nunquam eventurum credo f ." So spake one who 
had read the Fathers with no common care, and 
who turned his reading to no common account. "I 
persuade myself," he says, "that you will learn the 
modesty of submitting your judgment to that of the 
Catholic Doctors, where they are found generally to 
concur in the interpretation of a text of Scripture, 
how absurd soever that interpretation may, at first 
appearance, seem to be. For upon a diligent search 
you will find, that aliquid latet quod non patet, ' there 
is a mystery in the bottom :' and that which at first 
view seemed even ridiculous, will afterwards appear 
to be a most certain truth g ." "No man can oppose 
Catholic consent, but he will at last be found to op- 
pose both the Divine Oracles and Sound Eeason V 

f Bp. Bull, Defensio Fid. Nic. I. i. 9, (Works, vol. v. i. p. 22.) 
g Disc. v. The state of Man before the Fall. Bull's Works, 
vol. ii. p. 99. 

h " DEUS novit cordis mei secreta : in dogmatis theologicis a no- 
vaturiendi prurigine (quam etiam supremi Judicis tribunal insiliens 
fidenter mini tribuit tbeologise professor) adeo alienus sum, ut qua3- 
cunque catholicorum Patrum et veterum episcoporum consensu 
comprobata sunt, etiamsi meum ingeniolum ea non assequatur, tamen 
omni reverentia amplexurus sim. Nimirum non paucis experi- 
mentis monitus didiceram, cum adhuc juvenis Harmoniam scribe- 
rem, (quod mini jam confirmata setate persuasissimum est,) neminem 

V.] EUSEBIUS ON JOSHUA V. 13 15. 143 

The distinction thus drawn between individual opi- 
nion and the collective voice of the Church, was far 
better understood anciently than at present. The in- 
terpretation of a Council, especially if oecumenical, 
was accounted decisive. Even the generally consen- 
tient voice of Doctors and Fathers, as far as it could 
be ascertained, was held to be of the same authori- 
tative kind. An interesting illustration occurs. Than 
Eusebius, Bishop of Csesarea, few Fathers of the fourth 
century were more learned in Holy Scripture. He, 
commenting upon "the Captain of the LORD'S Host," 
mentioned in the vth chapter of the Book of Joshua, 
delivers it as his opinion that it was the same Per- 
sonage who spoke to Moses 'in the Bush;' viz. the 
Eternal SON*. On which opinion, a learned man of 
the same age, in a scholion of singular beauty which 
has come down to us, remarks as follows : " Aye, 
but the Church, most holy Eusebius, holds a view 
on this subject altogether at variance with thine k ." 

caiholico consensui repugnare posse, quin is (utcunque ipsi aliquantis- 
per adblandiri videantur sacrae Scripturse loca nonnulla perperam 
intellects, et levicularum ratiuncularum phantasmata) tandem et 
Divinis Oraculis et sance rationi repugnasse deprehendatur" Bp. 
Bull's Works, vol. iv. p. 313. 

1 In days of unbelief, one is tempted to add a note even on a 
Theological truism like that in the text, "Esto igitur, inquies; 
fuerit DETJS, qui in Veteri Testamento, sive per Angelum, sive sub 
angelica reprsesentatione sanctis viris apparuit et locutus est; at 
qua demum ratione adducti crediderunt doctores, fuisse DEI PILITTM ? 
Respondeo : Ratione, ni fallor, optima, quam ex traditions Apo- 
stolicd edidicerant." Def. Fid. Niccen. I. i. 12. Bp. Bull's 
Works, vol. v. i. p. 27. 

k *AXX' f) eKK\r)o~ia, S) dyteorare Evcr6/3te, ereptos TO. tTfp\ TOVTOV vop,iei 
rat ov\ &)$ (TV. TOV p.ev yap ev rrj /3ara> (pavevra ra> Mavarfj 0eoXoyet* rbv 
8c eV 'lepi^w T<a avrbv o<$e'i/ra, TOV rotv 'E/Spaicov fTriffTacriav Aa^ovra, 
(nrao'p.fvov ) Kat T3 'irjaov XOcrai TrpoaTUTroj/Ta TO V7r6drjp,a, TOVTOV 


He goes on to allege reasons why the ap^jLo-rpar^yos 
of Joshua must be held to have been not an uncreated, 
but a created Angel; the Archangel Michael, in fact. 
We will not now go into that matter. You are but 
requested to observe, how profoundly unimportant the 
opinion of a very learned individual was held to be, 
by one in whose ears the Patristic " torrent " was yet 
sounding ; although Justin Martyr is known to have 
been of the same mind with Eusebius. And thus 
much for individual views as to the meaning of Holy 
Scripture ; as contrasted with the decisions of Councils 
and Fathers. To judge from the signs of the Age, 
we have exactly reversed the ancient estimate ; and 
expect that more respect will be shewn to our own 
private fancies, than to a general consensus of Divines, 
ancient and modern. It seems to have been discovered 
that the supreme guide of Life is the individual con- 
science, " without appeal except to himself 1 !" 

II. Before descending, however, to the business of 
Interpretation, there is clearly one preliminary ques- 
tion to be settled: namely, the principle on which In- 
terpretation is to be conducted. And this is all that 
can be discussed to-day. To seek for that principle 
in the contradictory pages of solitary theorists, would 
of course be hopeless, as well as absurd. To elicit it 
from Patristic Commentaries, would obviously leave 
a door open for cavil. The ancient Fathers, (allowing 

&' ye TOV dp x dyye\ov vird\r)<f>e Mi X ar)\, K.r.X. The entire passage may 
be seen in the best annotated editions of Eusebius, (lib. i. c. ii. 17.) 
since that of Valesius, who first introduced it to notice. But to read 
it in a truly valuable context, reference should be made to Dr. Mill's 
Christian Advocate's publication for 1841, p. 92. The note alluded 
to has been reprinted in Dr. Lee's Discourses On Inspiration, p. 535. 
1 Essays and Reviews, p. 31. 


that they often speak with consentient voice,) singly, 
were but fallible men, however famous, as professors 
of Theological Science, they may have been. This, 
however, I venture to assume without any hesitation 
whatever, that if, instead of either of these two ways 
of ascertaining how Holy Scripture ought to be han- 
dled, we can be so fortunate as to discover from the 
Inspired Writers themselves what their method was 
with respect to the "Word of GOD, in such case, I 
say, we shall be in a position of entire certainty 01 . 
We shall then have full warrant for disregarding 
the dicta of modern sciolists on this great subject ; 
however arrogant their dogmatism, however confident 
their unsupported asseverations. 

I desire to be very clearly understood. My posi- 
tion is this. All Christian men allow that the Apo- 
stles and Evangelists of our LORD were inspired. 
Before such an audience as the present, I will not 
condescend even to allude to the absolute claim of 
our SAVIOUR CHRIST, who, as the Son of Man, en- 
joyed the gift of the Spirit without measure; who, 
as very GOD, " in the beginning created the Heaven 
and the Earth," (for, "In the beginning was THE 
WORD ; and THE WORD was with GOD ; and THE WORD 
was GOD. . . . All things were made by Him, and with- 
out Him was not anything made that was made n :") 
I will not, I say, for every utterance of our SAVIOUR 
CHRIST pause even, to claim the entire reverence of 
our hearts, the prostrate homage of our understand- 
ings. . . . Well then. If we can but discover what 
the mind and method of these several speakers and 
writers was, with regard to the Interpretation of Holy 
Scripture; on what principle, and with what senti- 

m See Appendix (J). * St. John i. 13. 



ments, they handled the Book of GOD'S Law; we 
shall have discovered the thing of which we are in 
search. For the Author of a book must perforce be 
allowed to be the best judge of the method and in- 
tention of that book : the HOLY SPIRIT must be al- 
lowed to be the best authority as to His own meaning ! 
Now this method, (of which, as I will presently 
remind you, we possess a great many specimens,) 
proves to be very extraordinary. It altogether esta- 
blishes the fact that the Bible is not to be interpreted 
" like any other book." That it could not be so inter- 
preted, might have been confidently anticipated be- 
forehand, from the very fact of its Divine origin . 
What I mean, Since, "by the mouth of David," 
the HOLT GHOST is expressly declared by CHRIST and 
by St. Peter to have " spoken;' 7 and since the Psalms 
collectively are described by St. Paul as the utter- 
ance of the HOLY GHOST; since Jeremiah's witness is 
said to be the witness of the HOLY GHOST ; and the 
HOLY GHOST is actually said to have spoken by 
Isaiah; while the Spirit of CHRIST Himself, (St. Peter 
says,) dwelt in the Prophets: in a word, since 
" holy men of GOD spake as they were moved by the 
HOLY GHOST," and the provisions of the Mosaic Law 
are to the same HOLY GHOST by St. Paul emphatically 
ascribed 5 ; stubborn facts, you are requested to ob- 
serve, which Essayists may prudently suppress but 
which no Sophistry on earth can either evade or 

So Bp. Butler, in a passage which will be found below, at 
p. 165-6. Yery different is the judgment of Professor Jowett, who is 
of opinion that " it will be a further assistance in the consideration 
of this subject, to observe that the Interpretation of Scripture has 
nothing to do with any opinion respecting its origin." Essays and 
Reviews, p. 350. 

P See above, pp. 55 57. 


deny : seeing, I say, that Holy Scripture is declared 
by inspired men to be the utterance of the Eternal 
GOD, it was to have been expected beforehand that 
its texture would bear witness to its Divine origin ; 
and that, to interpret it "like any other book," would 
be to forget its extraordinary character. Interpret 
Sophocles and Plato, if you will, like any other book, 
for a very plain reason; but beware how you apply 
your purely human notions to the utterance of the 
Ancient of Days ; for that utterance, enshrined in one 
particular volume, clearly makes that one volume es- 
sentially unlike any other volume in the world. 

You are particularly requested to observe, further, 
that singular pains have been taken to mystify this 
entire subject. It has been a favourite device to multi- 
ply difficulties, real or imaginary, and so, to create 
a miserable sense of the dangers which fairly hem the 
subject in, in order to render more palatable a des- 
perate escape from them all. Thus, we are told of the 
risks to which Grammatical nicety, and Ehetorical 
accommodation expose us ; and again, the snares into 
which the Logical method may betray. Metaphysical 
aid, we are assured, mystifies ; and even Learning, 
(would to Heaven we had a little more of it !) obscures 
the sense q . Might we just take the liberty of sug- 
gesting that the study of the exploded works of 
German unbelievers, (of which Germany herself, thank 

i Professor Jowett in Essays and Reviews, pp. 393 402. He 
adds, " Discussions respecting the use of the Greek article, have 
gone far beyond the line of utility. There seem to be reasons for 
doubting whether any considerable light can be thrown on the New 
Testament from inquiry into the language. . . . Minute corrections 
of tenses or particles are no good." (p. 393.) And this, from a 
Regius Professor of Greek ! 



GOD ! is beginning to be ashamed,) on the part of 
men of very moderate intellectual powers, however 
wise in their own conceit; and with no previous 
Theological knowledge to guide them, is another yet 
jnore fruitful avenue to error ? . . . Next, we are 
threatened with the manifold inconveniences which 
would ensue from the discovery that there is more 
than one sense in Holy Scripture, (that one sense 
being assumed to be, not the sense intended by 
its Divine Author, but the sense which the first 
hearers may be supposed to have put upon it r .) "If 
words may have more than one meaning," (it is not 
very logically argued,) " they may have any mean- 
ing 8 ." We are told a great deal about " the growth 
of ideas ;" and of human prejudices ; and of " the 
disturbing influence of Theological terms." But all 
this kind of thing, it will be perceived at once, is 
altogether foreign to the matter in hand. Ought Scrip- 
ture to be interpreted like any other book, or not ? That 
is the real question ! Has Scripture only one meaning, 
or more ? That is the point in dispute ! Above all, 
What is the true principle of Scripture Interpretation ? 
That is the only thing we have to discover ! 

ISTow, as for how the principles of Divine Interpre- 
tation are to be discovered, it is undeniable that there 
can be no surer way than by discovering what is the 
method of the HOLY GHOST ; by inquiring, what is the 
method of our SAVIOUR CHRIST, and of His Evan- 
gelists, and of His Apostles ? 

1. Surely it is needless to remind an audience like 

the present, what that method is ! Turn the first page 

of St. Matthew's Gospel, and weigh well the three 

famous cases of Interpretation which there encounter 

r See below, pp. 164-5. Essays and Reviews, p. 372. 


you*: namely, the assurance that Hosea's words, 
" Out of Egypt have I called my son u ;" that Jere- 
miah's declaration concerning the tears of Rachel x ; 
and that the many prophetic utterances concerning 
" the Branch 7 ;" found fulfilment, each, in CHRIST. 
The first, when, at Jehovah's bidding, He was carried 
up out of Egypt into Palestine ; the second, when the 
bereaved mothers of Bethlehem wept for their mur- 
dered offspring ; the third, when CHRIST, being bred 
up in Nazareth, was called a " Nazarene," the root of 
which, etymologically, denotes "a branch." But look 
further, and your surprise will increase at discovering 
how extraordinary the Divine method is. "When our 
Saviour cast out evil spirits and healed the sick, 
St. Matthew declares that He fulfilled that prophecy 
of Isaiah, " Himself took our infirmities and bare our 
sicknesses 2 ;" the language of the prophet in fact 
being, " Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried 
our sorrows* ;" which, as far as the words go, is rather 
a different thing. 

2. But it is St. Paul who affords us the largest 
induction of instances. When he would establish 
the right of the Clergy to have due provision made 
for them, he finds his warrant in a most unexpected 
place of Scripture. " Say I these things as a man? 
or saith not the Law the same also ? For it is written 
in the Law of Moses, ( Thou shalt not muzzle the 
mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.' Doth 
GOD care for the oxen here alluded to b ? (/x?) r&v /3oo>z/ 

* St. Matth. ii. 15 : 17, 18 : 23. u Hos. xi. 1. 

x Jer.xxxi. 15. y e.g. Is. xi. 1. Also Zech. iii. 8 : 

vi. 12. Jer. xxiii. 5 and xxxiii. 15. 

* St. Matth. viii. 17. ' Is. liii. 4. 
b For consider Exod. ix. 19, Jonah iv. 11, &c. 


rco 0ew ;) or saith He it altogether for our 
sakes ? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written c ." I re- 
mind you of the entire passage, because it is so very 
express. Elsewhere, St. Paul adduces a few verses 
from the viiith Psalm, the primary and more obvious 
meaning of which appears to assert nothing more than 
the supremacy of Man's present nature over the in- 
ferior races of animals ; (" all sheep and oxen, yea and 
all the beasts of the field d .") The application of it, 
in a prophetic sense, to the supreme dominion of our 
Redeemer over all created beings in Heaven and 
Earth, is certainly not one which would naturally 
suggest itself to us; yet is it for this purpose, and 
this only, that St. Paul adduces it; and as confir- 
matory of the universal sovereignty of CHRIST, the 
place in question is three times quoted by the same Apo- 
stle 6 , Elsewhere, when he would warn persons who 
have been partakers of both Sacraments, of the danger 
of final rejection, he cites the example of the Fathers 
of Israel in the "Wilderness. " The waters of the Eed 
Sea were a wall unto them, on their right hand and 
on their left f ," and the watery Cloud covered them 

e 1 Cor. ix. 8 10, quoting Deut. xxv. 4. See also 1 Tim. v. 18. 
" It seems providentially appointed that texts of the Old Testa- 
ment should be called out into Christian meaning which are the 
very texts we might have dismissed into a transitory interest. 
' Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.' 
* Humane provision !', modern observation might say. ' Is it for 
oxen GOD careth ?' is an Apostle's interpretation of the same text ; 
' or saith He it altogether for our sakes f .... It is a law, we 
find, prospectively set down for the Christian Church." Eden's 
Sermons, p. 189. 

d Ps. viii. 7. 

e Heb. ii. 68. 1 Cor. xv. 25, and Eph. i. 22. See Shuttle- 
worth's Paraphrase of the first place cited, p. 394. 

f Exod. xiv. 22, 29. 


above ; whereby it came to pass that " all our Fathers 
were under the Cloud, and all passed through the Sea ; 
and were all therefore baptized unto Moses in the 
Cloud and in the Sea." Moreover, he declares that 
they " did all eat the same spiritual meat;" (alluding 
to the Manna ;) " and did all drink the same spiritual 
drink : for they drank of that spiritual Eock that fol- 
lowed them: and that RocJc was OB.RIST*" .... Our 
SAVIOUR'S emphatic application to Himself (in the 
vith of St. John) of the Manna, "the bread which 
came down from Heaven," none can forget h . 

3. But St. Paul further largely interprets the ordi- 
nances of the Mosaic Law. Thus, the provision that 
the High-priest alone should enter, once a year, into 
the Holy of Holies, not without blood, he interprets 
as follows; "the HOLY GHOST this signifying," 
(" the HOLY GHOST this signifying /) that the way into 
the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as 
the first Tabernacle was yet standing 1 ." He explains 
further that " CHRIST being come an High-Priest of 
good things to come, by a greater and more perfect 

Tabernacle, by His own Blood entered in once 

into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal Bedemp- 
tion for us j ." The Veil of the Temple, (he says,) 
typified CHRIST'S flesh k ; and St. Paul intimates that 
he could further have spoken particularly of the Golden 
Censer, and the Ark of the Covenant, and the Pot 
of Manna, and Aaron's rod, and the Tables of the 
Covenant, and the Cherubims of Glory 1 . Again, he 
says, that " the bodies of those beasts whose blood 

s 1 Cor. x. 14. h St. John vi. 3258. 

i Hebr. ix. 69. i Ibid., v. 11, 12. 

k Aia TOV KaraTTfTaoTiaros, roureort TTJS <rapKos avrov. Hebr. X. 20. 
1 Hebr. ix. 25. 


is brought into the Sanctuary by the High Priest 
for Sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore 
JESUS also, that He might sanctify the people with 
His own Blood, suffered without the gate-" Who 
is not familiar with the same Apostle's declaration 
that the words of our father Adam relative to Mar- 
riage, are expressive of a great mystery, and set 
forth symbolically the union of CHRIST and His 
Church ; " For we are members of His Body, of 
His Mesh and of His Bones n ?" St. Peter is at least 
as remarkable in his Interpretations as St. Paul ; for 
he says of the Ark " wherein eight souls were saved 
by water," " The like figure whereunto, even Bap- 
tism, doth also now save us ." 

Now these samples of Inspired Interpretation would 
be abundantly sufficient for our present purpose. But 
before I proceed to make any use of them, it is right 
to draw attention to a phenomenon, even more ex- 

4. It is found then, that besides vindicating for the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament this unsuspected 
depth and fulness of prophetic and typical meaning, 
the very Narrative itself teems to overflowing with 
mysterious purpose. You have but to weigh well 
what the HOLY SPIRIT hath delivered concerning 
Abraham and Melchizedek, Hagar and Sarah, to 
perceive that the texture of the Historical Narrative 
itself is of supernatural fabric. All are familiar with 
what I allude to; but I must remind you of it, in 
detail. The Apostle is bent on shewing the supe- 
riority of our SAVIOUR'S Priesthood to that of Aaron. 
How does he proceed? He lays his finger, unhesi- 

m Hebr. xiii. 11, 12. Eph. v. 3032. 

* "Qi Kdl faqs avTirvnov vvv <r<nci pdnTurpa. I St. Pet. iii. 21. 


tatingly, on a verse in the cxth Psalm, (" Thou art 
a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek ;") 
declares with authority that it is CHRIST whom the 
prophet there alludes to, or rather, whom GOD apos- 
trophizes, (for that is what St. Paul actually says ; 
TrpocrayopevOeis VTTO rov 0eou p : although David un- 
deniably wrote the Psalm;) and proceeds, without 
more ado, to draw out minutely the characteristics of 
our SAVIOUR'S Priesthood, from the very brief narra- 
tive contained in the xivth Chapter of Genesis. Do 
but hear him ! 

The compound name " Melchi-zedek," being inter- 
preted, denotes " King of Eight eousness :" while 
" King of Salem 7 ' denotes " King of Peace." These 
titles, (it is implied, ) are emphatically appropriate to 
CHRIST our King ; to Him who " is our Eighteous- 
ness," and the very "Prince of Peace." It happens 
that nothing is said in Genesis about the parentage 
of Melchizedek, nor about the family from which 
he sprang : not a word as to when he was born, or 
when he died. Prom this silence of Scripture, St. Paul 
collects the typical adumbration of One who, as very 
GOD, was without human parentage, had no earthly 
lineage; " was before all things," GOD from all 
eternity, having indeed "neither beginning of days 
nor end of life." Did not Abraham give to Melchi- 
zedek a tithe of the spoils ? Consider then, (St. Paul 
says,) how great an one Melchizedek must have been ! 
Nay, consider that the descendants of Levi are com- 
manded to take tithe of their brethren, although all 
are sprung from Abraham alike; but here is one, 
altogether of a different family, taking tithes of Abra- 
ham, aye and blessing Abraham too ; 
p Hebr. v. 10. 


i>\6yrjK, " hath tithed," " hath blessed," the effect 
of the act remaining for ever in CHRIST typified by 
Melchizedek.) This mysterious King of Salem and 
Priest of the Most High GOD not only tithes but 
blesses Abraham, who had received from. ALMIGHTY 
GOD the promises, which included all blessedness, 
earthly and heavenly. Now, this implies Melchi- 
zedek' s superiority, for, of course, the less is blessed 
of the greater. Men who receive tithe here below 
are mortal ; but the very silence of Scripture respect- 
ing Melchizedek' s death, symbolically teaches that 
HE whom Melchizedek typified, yet liveth. And in- 
deed, (so to speak,) the tribe of Levi who take tithes, 
paid tithes to Melchizedek in the person of their great 
progenitor ; because Levi was as yet in the loins of 
his father Abraham when Melchizedek met him q . . . . 
I do not ask your pardon for thus leading you in de- 
tail over one unusually minute specimen of Divine 
Interpretation. I know well that there are many 
persons to whom the Divine method is highly dis- 
tasteful ; and who think their own method of Inter- 
pretation infinitely better. But, unfortunately for 
those persons, the question in hand is not a question 
of taste, but a dry matter of fact. We have to discover 
what is the Divine method of Interpretation, and no 
other thing. Its improbability and its inconvenience, 
its difficulty, and its strangeness, its seeming in- 
conclusiveness, (apart from the authority on which it 
rests,) and its certain uniqueness, (notwithstanding 
the many injunctions we have met with that we must 

i Hebr. vii. 110. The student in Divinity will find it well 
worth his while to inquire for a Latin Dissertation by the late 
learned Dr. W. H. Mill on this subject. 


interpret the Bible like any other book r ,) all these 
considerations are all together irrelevant, and beside 
the question. St. Paul himself admits that the Dis- 
course now before us is TTO\V$ /cat Sva-epjjirjvevTOs, 
long and of difficult interpretation 8 . Some will per- 
haps be found to inquire how it happens that while 
so many remote points of analogy are adduced, so 
obviously typical a circumstance as Melchizedek's 
bringing forth "bread and wine*" obtains no notice 
from the Apostle? I answer, For the same reason 
that Isaac is nowhere spoken of, nowhere so much as 
hinted at, in the Bible, as being a type of CHRIST. 
A blind man may see it. It requires no Eevelation 
from Heaven to teach such things as that ! But the 
typical foreshadowing of the superiority of our SAVI- 
OUR'S Priesthood over that of Aaron, in the story of 
Melchizedek, would infallibly have escaped mankind 
altogether, unless it had been thus specially revealed. 
Some there may be so utterly wanting in Theo- 
logical instinct, or so depraved of taste; so utterly 
unused to the study of GOD'S "Word, or so unobservant 
of the characteristic method of it, as to imagine that 
there is something trifling in the specimens of Inter- 
pretation before us. I am only concerned to maintain 
that they are Divine. You may think what you please 
about them. They are the teaching of the HOLY 
GHOST. Nay, if unfortunately any persons here pre- 
sent should think themselves wiser than GOD, I would 
request them to observe that, singularly enough, GOD 
has connected with this very exposition a short ad- 
dress to themselves. It runs as follows : " Concern - 

* Essays and Reviews, pp. 338, 375, 377, 419-20, 426, 428, 
429, &c. The advice is Professor Jowett's. 

' Hebr. v. 11. * Gen. xiv. 18. 


ing Melchizedek, we have to deliver a long and dif- 
ficult interpretation* difficult, however, only because 
ye have become dull of bearing*" (The fault, you ob- 
serve, is yours. Whereas GOD made your spiritual 
senses sharp and quick, you have blunted their edge, 
and are become stupid and obtuse. It follows :) 
" For when, by reason of the length of time that ye 
have professed Christianity, ye ought to be Teachers," 
(pray mark that!\ " ye have need that some one 
should teach you the first Principles of the Oracles of 
GOD ; and ye have become such as have need of milk, 
and not of solid food. For every one that useth milk, 
is without experience in the "Word of Eighteousness ; 
for he is an infant. But solid food (arepea rpotprj) 
is for them that are of full ageV Where you are 
requested to observe that a specimen of Interpretation 
you think trifling, the HOLY GHOST calls " solid 'food ;" 
and yourselves, who in your own conceit represent the 
World's Manhood x , He calls *7pr/ot&, " babes" .... 
This discrepancy of opinion strikes me as rather 

5. The time would fail, were we to enter as parti- 
cularly into the Divine Interpretation elsewhere given 
of another story, apparently as little fraught with 
mystery as any in the Bible. Who would ever have 
imagined that the brief narrative of Hagar's dismissal 
from the house of Abraham at Sarah's instance, was 
the dXXrjyopia of so Divine a thing as St. Paul 
declares ; the two Mothers setting forth the two 
Covenants, (one, bearing children unto bondage, the 
other, the free Mother of us all : Sinai symbolized by 
that, the heavenly Jerusalem by this .*) and even Ish- 

u Noo0pot yeydi/are raty aKoat?. Hebr. V. 11. 

v Hebr. v. 12 14. x Dr. Temple in Essays and Reviews. 


maePs mockery not being without mysterious mean- 
ing? Such however is the Divine Interpretation. 
Elsewhere, when St. Paul desires to contrast the me- 
thod of the Gospel with the method of the Law, 
(this, glorious ; that, with the same glorious features 
concealed;) and also to illustrate the present un- 
belief of the Jewish nation ; the Apostle finds a pro- 
phetic emblem of their blindness in the veiled coun- 
tenance of their great Lawgiver, as described in the 
xxxivth chapter of Exodus. The mystical intention 
of that veil, (he says,) was to symbolize the nation's 
inability to look steadfastly to the end of the dispen- 
sation, and to recognize MESSIAH. Nay, to this hour, 
while they read their Scriptures, that veil (he says) is 
upon their hearts. And yet, even as Moses, when 
he returned to GOD, is related to have taken off the 
veil from his face, so (St. Paul says) will it fare with 
the Jews, when they convert and turn themselves to 
CHRIST. The veil will be withdrawn 7 . Now, I gather 
from all this, and many a hint of the like kind, that 
the whole of Scripture is of the same marvellous 
texture, the Old Testament and the New, alike, 
whether we have the eyes to see it or not. 

6. But I cannot dismiss, the typical character of 
the Scripture narrative, until I have reminded you of 
one striking intimation of it which you might easily 
overlook. " fools and slow of heart," was our 
LORD'S reproof to Cleophas and his companion on 
the evening of the first Easter : " Ought not CHRIST 

r 2 Cor. iii. 12 16. Take notice that in allusion to the place, 
Exod. xxxiv. 34, (lyruea 6' av sjffstropsvsro Ma>v<rfjs svavri JTvptov XaXeTi/ 
avrai, TrfpiypelTo TO /azXu/i^a,) St. Paul says, qviKa 8' av SKi^rf's^ri 
wpog Jvpiov, Tre/Hcupemu TO KaXvpfta. The expression is altered in 
order to bring out more clearly the allegorical meaning. 


to have suffered these things, and to enter into His 
Glory ? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, 
He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the 
things concerning Himself 2 ." In like manner, St. 
Paul at Eome expounded to the unbelieving Jews, 
" persuading them concerning JESUS both out of the 
Law of Moses and out of the Prophets, from morning 
till- evening V The same thing is repeated else- 
where b : but the most express declaration is that of 
our LORD Himself to the Jews : " Had ye believed 
Moses, ye would have believed Me ; for he wrote of 
Me c ." Moses therefore wrote concerning CHRIST, 
CHRIST Himself says so. But where ? Shew me the . 
places in the Pentateuch which prove that CHRIST 
was "to suffer these things" and then to " enter into 
glory ?" You cannot do it ; unless indeed in Isaac's 
Sacrifice you are content to find the adumbration of 
the scene on Calvary. You cannot do it ; unless in 
Joseph's betrayal for twenty pieces of silver, (the deed 
of another Judas !) and his letting down into the pit 
without water, you recognize the image of the death 
of One by the blood of whose Covenant the prisoners 
of hope were set free d . You cannot do it; unless in 
the same Joseph's exaltation to the supreme power of 
Egypt, (when they " cried before him, Bow the 
knee !") you behold MESSIAH'S session at the Eight 
Hand of GOD. You cannot do it ; unless you notice 
how " Joseph, who was ordained to save his Brethren 
from death, who would have slain him, did represent 
the SON of GOD, who was slain by us and yet dying 
saved us e ." You cannot do it; unless in the Paschal 

z St. Luke xxiv. 25 27. a Acts xxviii. 23. 

b Acts xxvi. 22, 23. c St. John v. 46, 47. 

d Zech. ix. 11, 12. e Bp. Pearson. 


Lamb, and the wave-sheaf, you discern things Hea- 
venly, and of eternal moment. Yon cannot do it; 
unless you remember " that as, in order to consecrate 
the Harvest by offering to GOD the first-fruits of it, 
a sheaf was lifted up and waved ; as well as a Lamb 
offered on that day by the priest to GOD ; so MESSIAH, 
that immaculate Lamb which was to die, that Priest 
which dying was to offer up Himself to GOD, was 
upon the same day lifted up and raised from the dead ; 
or rather shook and lifted up, and presented Himself 
to GOD, and so was accepted for us all ; that so our 
dust might be sanctified, our corruption hallowed, our 
mortality consecrated to eternity." Many who hear 
me will perceive that I have been quoting from Bp. 
Pearson ; and will be constrained to admit that Isaac 
and Joseph, the wave-sheaf and the Paschal Lamb, 
may well be types of CHRIST ; and that, thus lightly 
touched, there can be little objection to tracing in 
such histories and provisions of the Law, the main 
outlines of the Life and Death and Eesurrection of 
our EEDEEMER. But remember, we have handled 
wondrous little of the patriarchal History and of the 
Law; and that little, wondrous cursorily; more, as 
it seems to me, in the manner of children in a Sunday- 
school, than as Divines in the first University of 
Europe ! . . . ISTow, St. Paul entertained his audience 
" from morning until evening." Had he nothing to 
say about Paradise, think you, and the mysterious 
parallel between the first and second Adam ? nothing 
to say about the Ark of Noah, and the waters of the 
Flood ? "What of the history of the patriarch Jacob, 
and of Joseph " at the second time made known to his 
brethren ?" What of Moses, and the miracles of the 
Exode? What of the many minute provisions, (all 


of them, no doubt, significant!) of the Mosaic Law? 
What of Esau's posterity and Balaam's prophecies, 
the Cloud and the Flame, the Manna and the Quails, 
the riven Eock and Jordan driven back ? . . . 

I have already said enough to feel at liberty to 
gather out of it all, the two chief propositions con- 
cerning Holy Scripture, which it is my business this 
morning to establish. And first, I assert that it may be 
regarded as a fundamental rule, that the Bible is not 
to be interpreted like any other book. This I gather 
infallibly from the plain fact, that the inspired Writers 
themselves habitually interpret it as no other booJc either 
iSj or can be interpreted. 

Next, I assert without fear of contradiction that 
inspired Interpretation, whatever varieties of method 
it may exhibit, is yet uniform and unequivocal in 
this one result; namely, that it proves Holy Scrip- 
ture to be of far deeper significancy than at first sight 
appears f . By no imaginable artifice of Ehetoric or 
sophistry of evasion, by no possible vehemence of 
denial or plausibility of counter assertion, can it be 
rendered probable that Scripture has invariably one 
only meaning; and that meaning, the most obvious 
and easy to those who first heard or read it. 

I would not be misunderstood by this audience, 
nor do I fear that I shall be. I am not denying 
(Goo forbid !) the literal sense of Scripture. Ea- 
ther am I, above all, contending for it. We may 
never play tricks with the letter. Those Six Days 
of Creation, depend upon it, were six days: and the 
Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge, and the 
Serpent, were the very things they are called, and 

f Consider St. John ii. 17, 22: xii. 16. St. Luke xxiv. 8, 45. 
Actsxi. 16. 


no other things. So of every other part of the Bible. 
The Temptation of our LORD was as matter of fact 
a transaction as one of His walks by the sea of Galilee. 
In what form the Tempter came to Him, hath not 
been revealed. After what fashion the Prince of the 
power of the air contrived the dazzling panorama 
" in a moment of time g ," I do not pretend to under- 
stand. The literal sense of what has been revealed, 
is, for all that, to be depended on. All is sincere His- 
tory : nothing is ever allegory, nothing may ever be 
evacuated or explained away ! We have our LORD'S 
own word for it. The speech in Paradise, and what 
happened at the time of the Flood ; the fate of Lot's 
wife, and what befel the cities of the plain ; the con- 
duct of David (when he ate the shew-bread), and the 
visit to Solomon of the Queen of Sheba ; the history 
of the widow of Sarepta, and of Naaman the Syrian : 
all these stories of the Old Testament are by our 
LORD Himself appealed to as veritable History h . 

But I am proving that Scripture itself, literally 
understood, compels us to believe that under the letter 
of Scripture, (which of course is to be interpreted lite- 
rally,) there lies a deeper and sometimes a far less 
obvious meaning; occasionally a meaning so impro- 
bable, (as men account improbability,) that, but for 
the finger of GOD pointing it out, we could never by 
possibility have discerned it; so extraordinary, that 
when it is shewn us, it needs an effort of the heart 
and of the mind to embrace it fully. 

Cases of literal Interpretation are indeed of con- 
stant occurrence in Scripture ; but the principle on 

e 'E? (TTtyfjifj xpovov, St. Luke iv. 5. 

h St. Matth. xix. 5. St.. Luke xvii. 27 and 32. St. Matth. 
xi. 23 : xii. 4 and 42. St. Luke iv. 25 27. 



which they depend is obvious, and common to all 
writings alike. I do not doubt, for a moment, that 
the history of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, (which we 
heard read this morning,) is a bond fide narrative, 
truer and more authentic in details, than is to be found 
in any other book of History. Neither do I doubt 
that the obvious teaching, (the moral Interpretation as 
it may be called,) of that incident, is the proper one : 
viz. that even for the most fiery of fleshly trials, GOD'S 
grace is sufficient: that Joseph's safety lay in re- 
fusing even to be with her, joined to his holy fear of 
sinning against GOD : that lust is ever cruel, and will 
hunt for the precious life i : finally, that the way of 
purity, though it may lead at first to sorrow, will in- 
fallibly conduct to blessedness at the last. Conside- 
rations like these, which are obvious and easy, are 
also unquestionably true; and especially precious, 
(who ever doubted it ?) as helps to personal holiness. 
But still, there may underlie this narrative, for 
aught I see to the contrary, a mystical signification. 
Potiphar's wife may, (as the best and wisest of an- 
cient and modern Divines have thought,) symbolize 
the Power of Darkness ; and Joseph, our Divine LORD. 
The garment Joseph left in the woman's hand, may 
represent that fleshly garment of which the true Joseph 
divested Himself, (ctTreKSuo-a/xej/oy as St. Paul speaks 
in a very remarkable place,) the mortal body which 
Satan apprehended (his sole triumph !) and by which 
he was ensnared, when a greater than Joseph gat Him 
out from an adulterous world k . Joseph in the prison, 

1 Prov. vi. 26. Consider v. 9. Eccl. vii. 26. Gen. xxxix. 20. 
2 Sam. xi. 15. St. Mark vi. 25. 

k The learned reader, (and the unjearned reader too, who will 
bear in mind that cnre^t o-dpcvos, [in the E. V. ' having spoiled,'] 


and CHRIST in the grave : Joseph exalted, and CHRIST 
Ascended : Joseph at last feeding the families of the 
"World, and CHRIST becoming the Bread of Life to all : 
let it not occasion offence, Brethren, if I confess 
that, for aught I see to the contrary, some such hidden 
teaching as this, may underlie the plain historical 
narrative ; and in no way interfere with a literal in- 

III. From the two foregoing negative positions, 
however, (which almost need an apology, such obvious 
truisms are they,) I eagerly pass on to something bet- 
ter and higher. 

1. And first, I boldly declare that the clue to all 
that has been advanced concerning the marvellous 
method of Holy Writ is supplied by the single con- 
sideration that the Bible is the Word of G-OD, that 
Holy Scripture, from the Alpha to the Omega of it, is 
the language of the HOLY GHOST. Incomprehensible 
and unmanageable on any other hypothesis, all the 
disclosures of inspired Interpretation, by the hearty 
reception of this one revealed truth, are rendered per- 
fectly intelligible and clear. The HOLY SPIRIT may 
surely be assumed competent to interpret what the 

certainly means ' having stripped off from himself/) is invited to 
consider with attention those words of Col. ii. 15: a7re<8vad^vos 
T<i? dp%as Kal ras e^ovcrias-, edeiy/jLaria-ev fv Trapprjo-iq, 6piap.^fixras avrovg 
[not auras, observe;] ev avr<3 [sc. TG> crraup<5. See by all means 
Pearson on the Creed, Art. v. note (Z) : (ed. Burton, vol. ii. p. 217-8.) 
Cf. Eph. ii. 16. Consider St. Luke xi. 22.] To complete the teach- 
ing of the passage, the reader is invited to study also, in connexion 
with what goes before, 1 Cor. ii. 6 8; taking notice, that of 
ap%ovTs TOV alS)vos TOVTOV are not, (as the marginal references sug- 
gest,) the powers of the visible, but of the invisible "World. See 
St. John xii. 31 : xiv. 30: xvi. 11, and Ephes. ii. 2 : vi 12. See 
Ignatius Ep. ad EpJies. c. xix., (with the notes in Jacobson's ed.) 
See also Dr. Mill on the Temptation, p. 165. 

M 2 


HOLY SPIRIT has already delivered ! His disclosures 
therefore are beyond the reach of censure ; however 
marvellous they may happen to be. Eut they are all 
a hopeless riddle to those who have blinded their eyes 
and hardened their hearts. 

Thus, to advert for a moment to the prophetic cha- 
racter (as it may be called) of the historical parts of 
Scripture, What is it which moves secret unbelief, 
and prompts a reference to the human devices of Alle- 
gory and Accommodation 1 ? It is the profound con- 
viction that no merely human narrative could be han- 
dled as St. Paul handles Genesis, except by indulging 
in rhetorical license, and giving to Fancy a very free 
rein. But disabuse your mind of this lurking sus- 
picion, so derogatory to the honour of Him by whose 
Spirit the Bible is inspired, cease to suspect that 
the narrative of Scripture is a merely human narra- 
tive, and how different becomes the problem ! Why 
should the HOLY GHOST have spoken less by the 
mouth of Moses, than by the mouth of David and 
Isaiah, Jeremiah and the rest of the prophets? But 
if He speaks in Genesis, then are the words of Genesis 
His ; and every word of the narrative " proceedeth " 
(as our LORD phrases it,) " out of the mouth of GOD" 

I am constrained to be thus express and emphatic, 
because it has been lately " laid down that Scripture 
has one meaning ; the meaning which it had to the 
mind of the Prophet or Evangelist who first uttered 
or wrote, to the hearers or readers who first received 
it m ." The original sense of Scripture, (says this wri- 
ter,) is "the meaning of the words as they first struck 
on the ears, or flashed before the eyes, of those who 

1 See Sermon VI. 

10 Professor Jowett in Essays and Beviews, p. 378. 


heard and read them V Now, I will not pause to 
remark on the complicated fallacy involved in this. 
For (1), Why should a hearer's first impression of a 
speaker's meaning be assumed to be that speaker's 
meaning ? And (2), Why may not Prophets and 
Evangelists have intended secondary meanings p ? But 
I do not dwell on this, for it does not touch the point. 
Let us hear the voice of one who adorned this place 
many years before the present controversy arose, and 
who has exactly anticipated the question now at issue. 
" Observe how this matter really is," says Bp. Butler. 
" If one knew a person to be the sole Author of a book ; 
and were certainly assured, or satisfied to any degree, 
that one knew the whole of what he intended in it ; 
one should be assured or satisfied to such degree, that 
one knew the whole meaning of that book: for the 
meaning of a book is nothing but the meaning of the Au- 
thor. But if one knew a person to have compiled 
a Book out of memoirs which he received from Another, 
of vastly superior knowledge in the subject of it ; espe- 
cially if it were a Book full of great intricacies and 
difficulties ; it would in no wise follow that one knew 
the whole meaning of the Book, from knowing the 
whole meaning of the compilers : for the original me- 
moirs, (i.e. the Author of them,) .might have, (and 
there would be no degree of presumption, in many 
cases, against supposing Him to have,) some farther 
meaning than the compiler saw. To say then, that 
the Scriptures, and the things contained in them, can 
have no other or farther meaning than those persons 

n Professor Jowett in Essays and Reviews, p. 338. 
Consider St. John xii. 16: x. 6 : xi. 13. St. Luke xviii. 34. 
St. Matth. xvi. 11, 12. St. John viii. 27, &c., &c. 
P See St. John xi. 49 52: vi : . 37 39. 


thought or had, who first recited or wrote them ; is 
evidently saying, that those persons were the original, 
proper, and sole authors of those books, i. e. THAT THEY 
ARE NOT INSPIRED : which is absurd, whilst the autho- 
rity of these books is under examination ; i.e. till you 
have determined they are of no divine authority at 
all. Till this be determined, it must in all reason be 
supposed, not indeed that they have, (for this is 
taking for granted that they are inspired ;) but, that 
they may have, some farther meaning than what the 
compilers saw or understood q ." So far Bp. Butler. 

2. Now, if GOD be in effect the Speaker, why need 
we hesitate to believe that He has so framed the 
stories, that they* shall be throughout adumbrations 
of the things which concern our peace r ? Let some 
garment be shewn me of merely human manufacture, 
and however costly it may prove, I look for nothing 
in it beyond the known properties of any other earthly 
fabric. But give me the assurance that, on the con- 
trary, it was woven by Divine hands, and fashioned 
in a Heavenly loom, and do I not straightway expect 
to find it a mystery and a marvel of Art ? It is even 
so with the language of Holy Writ. It is -all framed 
and fashioned after a Diviner model than men are 
able to imagine. It is instinct with sublimest mean- 
ings. It is penetrated, through and through, with 
the Spirit of the Most High GOD. It is of so celestial 
a texture, that, to the eye of the soundest Beason, 
informed by the purest Faith, it reveals, (when the 

q Analogy, Part n. ch. vii. 

r Augustine, speak'ng of the New Testament, says, " Factum 
quidem est, et ita ut narratur, impletum ; sed tarn en etiam ipsa, 
quae a DOMINO facta sunt, aliquid significantia erant, quasi verba 
(si dici potest) visibilia, et aliquid significantia." Opp., torn. v. 
p. 421 F. 


Spirit of its Divine Author shines upon it,) the glo- 
rious outlines of an imperishable Life ! 

3. The strong root of bitterness out of which springs 
unbelief in this supernatural character of the historical 
parts of the Bible, is an unworthy notion of GOD'S 
Power. Because human histories are perforce barren 
and lifeless, it is assumed that the Book of GOD'S Law 
must be a dead thing also. And then, the conceit of 
self -relying Keason glides in, (like a serpent,) and 
remonstrates as follows: "Yea, can GOD have sanc- 
tioned a method of such subtlety and pliability as will 
make His own Scriptures mean anything s ? Is it not 
rather, an exploded fashion, which the age has out- 
grown, that fashion of supposing that there is some- 
times a double sense in Prophecy, and that the Gospel 
is symbolized in the Law ? Were then the worthies 
of the Old Testament puppets in GOD'S Hands, acting 
parts? now, typifying remote personages; now, ex- 
hibiting future transactions; now, symbolizing na- 
tional events ? Is it credible ? Not so ! Accept one 
of two alternatives, and never dream of a third. Be- 
lieve either that the Evangelists, the Apostles, our 
SAVIOUR CHRIST Himself, partaking of the ignorance 
of their age, and speaking according to the modes of 
thought then prevalent, were mistaken in their inter- 
pretations of Holy Scripture ; or else, deny boldly 
that there are interpretations at all. Assume that 
they are mere allegory and accommodation ! Some- 
thing must be allowed for the backwardness of the 
Past ; and ' the time has come when it is no longer 
possible to ignore the results of criticism V A change 
of method c is not so much a matter of expediency as 

8 Essays and Reviews, pp. 368, 372. 
* Professor Jowett in Essays and Reviews, p. 374. 


of necessity. The original meaning of Scripture 7 is 
at last i beginning to be understood V Be persuaded, 
and make it thy business to persuade others, that the 
Bible is but a common Book !" 

4. To all of which, we make summary answer : 
Passing by thy self- congratulation on the enlighten- 
ment of the age, of which, except in certain depart- 
ments of physical Science, we see no evidence; the 
whole of thy argument concerning Holy Scripture 
amounts to this; that it would be very distasteful 
to thee, to find that it contained any sense beyond 
that which lies on the surface. Types, intended by 
the Author of Scripture to be types : Prophecy with 
sometimes more than a single application : historical 
events foreshadowing remote transactions : all these 
thou deniest, because thou dislikest. Observe, how- 
ever, that while thou art urging thine own private 
opinion, we are dealing with a revealed fact Thou 
talkest about a probability, but we are establishing 
a proof. " It is written " that Scripture is thus signi- 
ficant, is thus mysterious in its historical outlines. 
And thou canst not explain away one syllable, though 
thou shouldest deny " every word that proceedeth out 
of the mouth of GOD" 

5. Let us, however, examine the question merely 
by the light of unaided reason. Consider then ! If 
GOD made this world the particular kind of world 
which He is found to have made it, in order that it 
might in due time preach to mankind about Himself, 
and about His providence: if He contrived before- 
hand the germination of seeds, the growth of plants, 
the analogies of animal life ; all, evidently, in order 
that they might furnish illustrations of His teaching ; 

u Professor Jowett in Essays and Reviews, p. 418. 


and that so, great Nature's self might prove one vast 
Parable in His Hands : why may not the same GOD, 
by His Eternal Spirit, have so overruled the utterance 
of the human agents whom He employed to write the 
Bible, that their historical narratives, however little 
their authors meant or suspected it, should embody 
the outline of things heavenly ; and, while they con- 
vey a true picture of actual events, should also after 
a most mysterious fashion, yield, in the Hands of His 
own informing Spirit, celestial Doctrine also ? 

6. For let me remind you, The very actions of men, 
the complicated transactions of our common lives, 
are thus overruled by GOD'S Providence ; and, without 
restraint, are so controlled that they shall subserve to 
the ulterior purposes of His will, after a fashion which 
altogether defies analysis. Beyond this inner circle 
of comprehensible causation, external to the imme- 
diate sphere of cause and effect which courts our daily 
scrutiny, there is an outer circle, which rounds our 
lives ; and (as I said) overrules all we do ; fashion- 
ing, by virtue of a supreme fiat which is altogether 
beyond our comprehension, all our ends. Why then, 
I ask, may not the Bible be, what it purports to be, 
the authentic record of transactions which the mar- 
vellous skill of Him who governeth all things in Hea- 
ven and Earth did so overrule, that they should be- 
come foreshadowings of chief transactions in the King- 
dom of CHRIST ? Shall prophecy, in the ordinary sense 
of the term,, be admitted by all, and yet a prophetic 
transaction be deemed impossible with GOD ? If Isaiah 
may prophesy of one "red in His apparel," after 
" treading the winepress alone x ;" may describe Him 
as " despised and rejected of men ;" "a Man of Sorrows 
* Is. Ixiii. 2, 3. 


and acquainted with grief;" "wounded for our trans- 
gressions and bruised for our iniquities;" "brought 
as a lamb to the slaughter," and " making intercession 
for the transgressors;" and at last destined to find 
" His grave with the wicked, yet with the rich in His 
death 7 :" if this may be in words described minutely, 
and move no doubt ; shall we close our eyes that we 
may not see, or seeing shall we fail to recognize, 
in the person of such an one as David, a divinely-in- 
tended type of MESSIAH ? What ! when he who was 
born in Bethlehem, overcomes the Philistine at the 
end of forty days, and takes from him the armour 
wherein he trusted; when he, a prophet, priest, 
and king, is persecuted by his enemies, and betrayed 
by his own familiar friend; when he at last passes 
over the brook Kidron and ascends Olivet, sorrowing 
as he goes; yea, when he utters words which our 
KEDEEMER resyllables with His dying breath z ; wilt 
thou refuse to discern in the person of David, the 
lineaments of David's Son? and sneer at us, who 
herein have been better taught than thou; although 
thou hast no better reason to give for thy unbelief 
than that the view of Holy Scripture which the 
Church Catholic hath held in all ages, seems to thee 
a thing impossible ? 

7. Take once more, if thou wilt, the analogy of 
Nature ; and thence infer what is probable concerning 
things Divine. Is it observed that the works of GOD 
are thus single in their office; or are they, on the 
contrary, manifold in their virtues and uses ? Than 
the metal Iron, what substance more serviceable for 
every ordinary mechanical purpose of daily life ? Yet, 
ask the physician which of the metals lie could least 

y Is. liii. z Comp. Ps. xxxi. 5 with St. Luke xxiii. 46. 


afford to forego as an instrument of cure : and he will 
tell thee that lie finds Iron the fullest of healing virtues 
also. Shall then plants and animals, yea, and the 
whole of the Animal Kingdom, be admitted to sub- 
serve to manifold, and at first sight unsuspected uses, 
so that the wisest are ready to confess that the 
function of most remains to this hour a secret : and 
shall we be reluctant to allow that the Word of GOD 
"the Tree of Life," whereof "the leaves are for the 
healing of the nations," may also be thus various in 
its purpose ; fraught with other teaching besides that 
which on its very surface meets the careless eye ? 

8. To speak without a figure, It is not of course 
to be supposed that the inspired writers knew all the 
wondrous qualities of the message they delivered, or 
of the narrative they were divinely guided to indite. 
Altogether a distinct question this; although the two 
have been sometimes confused together a . Nay, Eeve- 
lation itself comes in to help us here. St. Peter, in 
express words, declares that concerning the mystery of 
Eedemption " the prophets inquired and searched dili- 
gently ; . . . searching what, or what manner of time 
the Spirit of CHRIST which was in them did signify, 
when it," (not they, observe, but It) "testified 
beforehand the sufferings of CHRIST, and the glory 
that should follow." That " not unto themselves, .but 
unto us they did minister," thus much, indeed, 
was revealed to them; but no more. The rest, to 
this hour, the very "Angels desire to look into !" 

a By Professor Jowett for example. " The time will come when 
educated men will no more be able to believe that the words of 
Hos. xi. 1 were intended by the prophet to refer to the return of 
Joseph and Mary from Egypt, than," &c. E. and R., p. 418. 
When did " educated men" ever believe anything of the kind? 


9. But between the words which a man delivers 
being full of Divine significancy, and himself knowing 
the full scope and purport of those words, there is 
surely a mighty difference ! When Caiaphas foretold 
the universal efficacy of CHRIST'S Death, who less than 
Caiaphas suspected the far-reaching truth of the words 
which fell from his unholy lips ? He knew nothing 
about the triumphs of the Cross; and yet he could 
prophesy very accurately concerning them. " This 
spake he not of himself," (says the Evangelist,) "but 
being high- priest that year, he prophesied that JESUS 
should die for that nation; and not for that nation 
only, but that also He should gather together in one 
the children of GOD that were scattered abroad b ." . . . 
It may safely be assumed that the sacred writers no 
more knew the force and power of their own words, 
than those Priests who lived and moved amid the 
shadows of the Mosaic Eitual were able to discern 
therein, the substance of things eternal in the Heavens. 
And yet we believe concerning those ritual types that 
" they were a concealed prophetic evidence, the force 
of which was made apparent by the presence of the 
Gospel ." I am prone to suspect that the burning 
vehemence of their own language must many a time 
have moved the Prophets of old to deepest astonish- 
ment ; and that when there broke from them words of 
more than mortal power, or images of unearthly 
grandeur, or the outlines of a grief more than hu- 
man ; when they spake of a betrayal for thirty pieces 
of silver d , of blows and spitting 6 , and of pierced 
hands and feet f ; of parted garments and lots cast upon 

b St. John xi. 50. Comp. xviii. 14. 

c Davison on Prophecy, p. 192. d Zecb. xi. 12, 13. 

e Is. 1. 6. f Ps. xxii. 16. Zech. xiii. 13. 


a vesture g ; they must have felt, they must have felt 
the awfulness of the message they were commissioned 
to deliver; and longed, yea yearned unutterably to 
see and to hear the things which were reserved to be 
witnessed in the days of the Son of Man ! 

10. Enough, however, of all this. In reply to a 
priori objections, I have been content to argue the 
question as if the Bible were a newly-discovered Book 
without a history; whereas the consentient writings 
of all the Fathers and Doctors of every age, in every 
portion of the Christian Church, is an overwhelming 
fact! Rather have I reasoned as if the Bible were 
a book altogether silent concerning itself. But the 
plain truth, as I have fully shewn, is the very reverse. 
Scripture is full of interpretations of Scripture ; and 
the constant method of Scripture in such interpreta- 
tions, is spiritual or mystical ; and this witness of 
Scripture is the strongest proof possible that the prin- 
ciple involved is correct. Meanwhile, the great under- 
lying truth which I now desire, more than any other 
to bring before you, is this : that it is the HOLY 
GHOST who, in the ISTew Testament, interprets what 
the same HOLY GHOST had delivered in the Old: This, 
believe me, is the true key, the only intelligible solu- 
tion, to all those difficulties respecting places of the 
Old Testament, whether interpreted, or only quoted, 
in the New, which have so exercised the ingenuity of 
learned men. We are always to remember, in a word, 
that the true Author of either Testament, the real 
Author of every part of the Bible, is (not Man, but) 

IV. Such then, (to conclude,) is the Divine metfiod 
of Interpretation. "We are not concerned now to 

* Ps. xxii. 18. 


classify, and sort it out under different heads. To 
appty, even to a small extent, the principles we have 
been labouring to establish, would not only lead us 
much too far, but would constrain us to travel out of 
our proper subject and prescribed province. Our pur- 
pose has only been, to vindicate the profundity, or 
rather the fulness 'of Holy Writ h ; and to shew that 
under the obvious and literal meaning of the words, 
there lies concealed a more recondite, and a profounder 
sense : call that sense mystical, or spiritual, or Chris- 
tian, or what you will. Unerringly to elicit that 
hidden sense is the sublime privilege of inspired 
Writers ; and they do it by allusion, by quotation, by 
the importation of a short phrase ', by the adoption of 
a single word k , to an extent which no one would 
suspect who had not carefully studied the subject. 
How that method of theirs is to be applied by ourselves, 
it is impossible, I repeat, for me even to hint at in 
a single discourse. But this, I will say ; and with this 
I dismiss the subject ; that Interpretation would be 
a hopeless task, but for the solemn circumstance that 
the whole of the Bible is inspired by one and the self- 
same Spirit; so that one part may always be safely 

h "Adoro Scripturse plenitudinem." Tertullian adv. Hermog., 
c. 22. 

1 Comp. St. Matth. ii. 20, with the LXX Version of Exod. iv. 19 : 
St. Matth. iii. 4, with the same version of 2 Kings i. 8 : St. Matth. 
xxvi. 38 with Ps. xlii. 5. St. Luke i. 37, with Gen. xviii. 14, i. 
48, with 1 Sam. i. 11, and with Gen. xxx. 13, i. 50, with Ps. ciii. 
17. St. John i. 52, with Gen. xxviii. 12, &c., &c. 

k A few examples may prove suggestive to a thoughtful reader : 
fo8os, in St. Luke ix. 31 and in 1 St. Pet. i. 15: aTro/omzaT^o-ei, 
in St. Matth. xvii. 11, (cf. Mai. iv. 5): virop-trpiov, in St. Luke 
xii. 42, (cf. Gen. xlvii. 12) : napddeuros, in St. Luke xxiii. 43. The 
reference is of course always to the Septuagint version. 


compared with any other part of it, you please. Nay, 
by no other method can you hope to understand the 
Bible, than by such a laborious comparison of its 
several parts. " Non nisi ex Scriptura Scripturam 
potes interpret ari." The more you study the Book, 
the more you will feel convinced that its many authors 
all resorted to one and the same Fountain of Inspi- 
ration. They all use the same imagery; they all 
speak the same language ; they all mean the same 
thing. St. John the Divine, in the Book of Beve- 
lation, shuts up the Canon by reproducing the com- 
bined imagery of all the ancient prophets, by de- 
claring that the Song of Moses and of the LAMB is 
sung by the redeemed in Heaven, by marvellous 
words about " the Tree of Life," which is " in the 
midst of the Paradise of GOD." The Inspired writers 
of either Testament all draw from the same Treasury, 
and therefore all say the same things. The Heavenly 
Jerusalem, (with her gates of pearl and streets of gold,) 
is the home of the spirit of each one of them 1 ; JESUS 
CHRIST, and He Crucified, is the abiding theme of 
them all. And 0, how their words do sometimes 
teem, and their phrases swell, almost to bursting, 
with their blessed argument" 1 ! You shall be troubled 

1 Ps. xlvi. 4: xlviii. 1, 8 : Ixxxvii. 3. Is. lii. 1 : Ix. 14. Ezek. 
xlviii. Ephes. ii. 19, 20. Phil. iii. 20. Gal. iv. 26. Hebr. xi. 10: 
xii. 22: xiii. 14. Rev. xxi. 2, 10 : iii. 12, &c. 

m " Scriptores deonveva-roi, de typo disserentes, divinius quiddam 
ex inopinato pati solent, et ad antitypum. yehementiore Spiritus 
afflatu rapi et elevari. Assertionis hujusce veritas inde constat, 
quod verba qusedam baud expectata ssepius inferant, qua3 MESSI^E 
vel solum vel aptius quara Illius typo congruant." Spencer De 
Legg. Hebr., vol. ii. p. 1035. Consider sucb places as Ps. ii. 6, 7 : 
xli. 9, 10: xlv. 10, 11: Ixi. 6: Ixxii. 5, 7, 11, 16, 17: Ixxxix. 
29. Gen. xiix. 18. Is. Ixi. 1, 2, 3. Zech. vi. 11, 12. 


with only one example of what I mean. Moses 
haying described the interview between Melchizedek 
and Abraham, the mighty secret of MESSIAH'S priest- 
hood which therein lay enshrined was curtained all 
so close, that neither Angels nor Men could pos- 
sibly discern it. Must it then remain a mystery for 
2000 years ? Not so ! Midway between the day of 
Abraham and the day of CHRIST, just midway, 
David, speaking by the HOLY GHOST, (of that, our 
LORD Himself assures us n ,) David, I say, when a 
thousand years had rolled by, utters the cxth Psalm ; 
and in the fulness of his prophetic fervour, the great 
secret bursts unexpectedly into light ! A thousand 
years had passed since Abraham returned from 'the 
slaughter of the Kings.' It wanted yet a thousand 
years to the date of our SAVIOUR'S Birth. And lo, 
midway, a voice is heard, shouting to Him across the 
gulf of Ages, " Thou art a Priest for ever after 
the order of MelchizedeJc /" 

" And let not Eeason be alarmed. Her vocation is 
not gone. Yea rather, I know not if Human Intel- 
lect ever had a loftier problem presented to her than 
to follow out that deep Analogy which has been 
noticed above; and to learn, (if it may be called 
Eeason's learning,) how to deal with Holy Scripture 
as Apostles and Evangelists deal with it. Let not 
Eeason be alarmed. She is only asked to listen, and 
to discern the nature and laws of Sacred Study. She 
is asked but to discern the evidence which there is of 
her being in a world which she imperfectly under- 
stands The student of the Bible is advised so to 

address himself to the study of that Book, so to deal 
with its language, as one should deal with THE WORD 

n St. Mark xii. 36. 


OF GOD, the measure of whose import is in the 
infinite, not in the finite World. Surely, by these 
things thb LORD tries the spirits of us all ; tries other 
men by other means, but tries the intellectual man by 
the Word of GOD , and watches him as he reads it ; 
hardens the obdurate; blinds the self-blinded; but 
pours into the humble mind the riches of His di- 
vine Wisdom like showers into a valley; making 
it soft with the drops of rain and blessing the in- 
crease of it p ." 

V. Friends and brethren, it is not without reluct- 
ance that on a Sunday in Lent, when penitential 
thoughts should rather occupy us, and in this place 
too, where the promotion of practical piety should 
rather be our aim, I have so addressed you. But 
indeed, I seem to have no choice. It is idle crying 
"peace, peace," when there is no peace. If the In- 
spiration of Holy Scripture be a deceit, and the Divine 
meaning of Holy Scripture a superstition, then, fare- 
well to all our hopes in Life and in Death ; farewell 
to peace in days of despondency and gloom. Our 
faith is gone, and our teaching becomes a hollow heart- 
less thing. Since, under the name of freedom of dis- 
cussion, unbounded licentiousness of speculation is 
openly the fashion of the age, we are constrained to 
give a reason for the hope which is in us ; and to de- 
fend, without compromise or hesitation, that Bible, 
which is the great bulwark of the Faith. It shall not 
be said that we can condemn, but that we make no 
answer. It must be seen that we put forth in reply 

"And their manner of treating this subject when laid before 
them, shews what is in their heart, and is an exertion of it." 
Bp. Butler's Analogy, P. n. ch. vi. See Appendix (C). 

p Eden's Sermons, pp. 192-5. 



the ancient Truths ; and it will be felt that before the 
majesty of those ancient Truths, the arts of the enemy 
will prove weak and unavailing, rather, will stand 
revealed in all their native deformity. If English 
Clergymen, coming abroad in the cast-off clothes of 
German unbelief q , and decked out with the exploded 
sophisms of the last century, are to declare openly 
that the faith of our Fathers is already looked upon 
among ourselves as ' a kind of fossil of the Past,' then 
is it high time that voices should be heard vindicating 
that ancient method of our Fathers ; and boldly pro- 
claiming that this imputation against the Clergy of 
England is a disreputable untruth. The Church of 
England, (Goo be praised !) hath not left her first love ; 
hath not given up her ancient method ; Christianity is 
not 'a difficulty to the highest minds.' The Chris- 
tian Keligion embraces, as much as ever it did, " the 
thought of men upon the Earth." " All the tenden- 
cies of Knowledge" are not " opposed to it." The 
Gospel is still immeasurably before the age. Intellect 
has not gone, the loftiest order of well-trained in- 
tellects will never go, the other way r . It is, on the 
contrary, none but a very shallow wit which errs. 
Had it confined its speculations to the cloister, or 

* "With the exception of the still-imperfect science of Geology," 
(says Dr. Pusey,) " the Essays and Reviews contain nothing with 
which those acquainted with the writings of unbelievers in Germany 
have not been familiar these thirty years." Even the Apologist for 
the volume in question assures us that one who " had looked ever 
so cursorily through the works of Herder, Schleiermacher, Liicke, 
Neander, De Wette, Ewald, &c., would see that the greater part of 
the passages which have given so much cause for exultation or for 
offence in this volume, have their counterpart in those distinguished 
Theologians." Edinb. Rev., Ap. 1861, p. 480. 

r Rev. B. Jowett in Essays and Reviews, pp. 374-5. 


come abroad with sorrow and shame, we should have 
pitied in silence, and in silence also have lamented. 
But when it comes insultingly abroad, and sets up 
a claim to intellectual superiority even while it denies 
the most sacred truths ; then pity gives way before 
indignation and disgust. Crown the whole with the 
iniquity of imputing these views generally to the 
more thoughtful of the English Clergy s , and we are 
constrained openly to resent the grievous wrong. We 
declare it to be an unfounded calumny; a calumny 
which, in the name of the whole Church, I solemnly 
repel before GOD, and His Holy Angels, and you ! 
Vain, utterly vain, worthless, utterly worthless, 
must any superstructure of intellectual, moral, or reli- 
gious training be, which is built up on the doctrine 
that the Bible is to be interpreted like any other 
Book; in other words, that the Bible is a common 
Book ; in other words, that Inspiration is a fable and 
a dream. We have no fear whatever that your high 
instincts, (with all your faults !), your English man- 
liness, will, to any extent be led astray, by sophistry 
worthless as that which we have been exposing. 
But we know you look to your appointed Teachers 
from this place, (as well you may,) for advice, and 
support, and encouragement, in your better aspira- 
tions; and let me, at least, in plain language, warn 
you that novelties in Eeligion never can be true. 
" Philosophia," says the great Bishop Pearson speak- 
ing of Physical Science ; " Philosophia quotidie pro- 
gressu: Theologia nisi regressu non crescit V " Ask 

8 Rev. B. Jowett in Essays and Reviews, pp. 372, (bottom^) 340, 
374, &c. 

* Minor Works, vol. ii. pp. 9-10. "In Christianity, there can 
be no concerning truth which is not ancient; and whatsoever is 

N 2 


for the old paths !" . . The faith, remember, was 
a?ra, once for all, delivered to the Saints. There 
will be no new deposit. There can be no new 
doctrines. There has been no fresh Eevelation, 
no new principle of guidance vouchsafed to man. 
A new method of interpreting Scripture is quite 
impossible. And the true method, the only true 
method must be that which was adopted by our 
SAVIOUR, by His Evangelists, and by His Apostles : 
a method which they taught to their first disciples, 
and which those early Bishops and Doctors handed 
on in turn to the generation which came after them. 
That method, by GOD'S great goodness, has descended 
in an unbroken stream, even to ourselves ; who have 
described it this morning, feebly indeed and unwor- 
thily, yet, in the main, as it would have been de- 
scribed at any time, by any of the glorious company 
of the Apostles, the goodly fellowship of the Prophets, 
the noble army of Martyrs, by any of the Doctors 
and Fathers of the Holy Church throughout the 
world ! let it be our great concern, yours and 
mine, to preserve with undiminished lustre the whole 
deposit of Heaven-descended teaching which is the 
Church's treasure ! . . . . Like runners in a certain 
ancient race of which we all have read, let it be our 
pride and joy, yours and mine, to grasp the torch 
of Truth with a strong unwavering hand; to run joy- 
ously with it so long as the days of this earthly race shall 
last ; and dying, to hand it on to another, who, with 
strength renewed like the eagle's, may again, swiftly, 
steadily, exultingly, run with it, till he fails ! . . . So, 
when the Judge of quick and dead appear eth, so let 

truly new is certainly false." Epistle Dedicatory prefixed to 
Pearson on the Creed, p. x. 


Him find you occupied, young men, (many of you, 
my friends,) who are already the hope of half the Eng- 
lish Church! So faithfully may we, Brethren and 
Fathers, one and all, be found employed, when He 
cometh, whose answer to the Tempter is emphati- 
cally the text of the present solemn season, as well as 
a mighty voucher for the Divine origin, and sustain- 
ing efficacy of that Book concerning which I have 
been detaining you so long, "It is written, Man 
shall not live by bread alone ; but by every word that 
proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD !" 

UT verum fatear, semper existimavi, allusiones istas, (ad quas 
confugiunt quidam tanquam ad sacrum suae ignorantiae asylum,) 
plerumque nihil aliud esse, quam Sacrae Scripturae abusiones 

BISHOP BULL, Harmonia Apostolica, cap. xi. sect. 3. 

THEEE would be no need to scruple the term, if it were not meant 
to imply that this Accommodation was arbitrary on the part of 
the Evangelist ; or that the mind of THE SPIEIT that spoke by the 
Prophet does not most fully include this application. 

DR. W. H. MILL. 



ROMANS x. 6 9. 

" But the Righteousness which is of Faith speaketh on this wise, 
' Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven ? 
(that is, to bring CHRIST down from above :) or, ' Who shall 
descend into the deep? 1 (that is, to bring up CHRIST again 
from the dead.) But what saith it ? ' The word is nigh thee, 
even in thy mouth, and in thine heart :' that is, the word of 
Faith, which we preach ; that if thou shalt confess with thy 
mouth the LORD JESUS, and shalt believe in thine heart that 
GOD hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" 

IT is quite marvellous in how many different ways 
different classes of professing Christians have con- 
trived to nullify the value of their admission that the 
Bible is inspired. Some would distinguish the inspi- 
ration of the Historical Book from that of those which 
we call Prophetical. Others profess to lay their finger 
on what are the proper subjects of Inspiration, and what 
are not. Some are for a general superintending gui- 
dance which yet did not effectually guide ; while others 
represent the sacred Writers as subject, in what they 
delivered, to the conditions of knowledge in the age 
where their lot was cast. The view of Inspiration which 
Scripture itself gives us, namely, that GOD is therein 

Preached at St. Mary-the- Virgin, April 27, 1851. 


speaking ly human lips b ; so that ' holy men of GOD ' 
delivered themselves as they were ' impelled, 7 ' borne 
along, 7 or 'lifted up,' (fyepojjievoi) ~by the HOLT GHOST* ; 
this plain account of the matter, I say, which con- 
verts ( all Scripture ? into something c breathed into by 
GOD? (OtoTrvevcrTos,)* men are singularly slow to 
acknowledge. The methods which they have devised 
in order to escape from so plain a revealed Truth, 
are ' Legion.' 

Second -to none of the enemies of Holy Writ, prac- 
tically, are they who deny its depth and fulness. It 
is only another, and a more ingenious way, of denying 
the Inspiration of the Bible, to evacuate its more mys- 
terious statements. Those who are for eluding the 
secondary intention of Prophecy, the obviously mys- 
tical teaching of Types, the allegorical character of 
many a sacred Narrative, are no less dangerous ene- 
mies of GOD'S Word than those who frame unworthy 
theories in order to dwarf Inspiration to the standard 
of their own conceptions of its nature and office. I 
say, it is only another way of denying the Inspiration 
of Scripture, to deny what is sometimes called its 
mystical, sometimes its typical, sometimes its allego- 
rical sense And thus, what with the arbitrary 

decrees of our own unsupported opinion, or the self- 
sufficient exercise of our own supposed discernment; 
what with our insolent mistrust; or our short- 
sighted folly and presumption; or, lastly, our cold- 
ness and deadness of heart, our slender appetite 
for Divine things, which makes us yearn back after 
Earth, at the very open gate of Heaven ; in one way 
or other, I repeat, we contrive to evacuate our own 

b See above, pp. 55-7. e 2 St. Pet. i. 21. 

d See above, pp. 53-4. 


admission that the Bible is an inspired Book : we 
fasten discredit on its every page : we become profane 
men, like Esan : we despise our birthright. 

But the most subtle enemy of all remains yet to 
be noticed. It is he, who, finding the plain Word 
of GOD against him : finding himself refuted in his 
endeavour to fix one intention only on the words of 
the HOLY GHOST, and that intention, the most obvious 
and literal one ; finding himself refuted even by the 
express revelation of the same HOLY GHOST, else- 
where delivered ; bends himself straightway to resist, 
and explain away, that later revelation of what was 
the earlier meaning. It is a marvellous thing but so 
it is, that the very man who contended so stoutly a 
moment ago for the literal meaning of Scripture, now 
refuses, and denies it. Anything but that! If he 
allows that St. Matthew, or St. Paul, yea, or even 
our Blessed LORD Himself, are to be literally under- 
stood ; are severally to be taken to mean what they 
say ; then, Moses and David, narrative, law, and 
psalm, besides their literal meaning, have, at least 
sometimes, and they may have always, a mystical 
meaning also. Under the evident, palpable signifi- 
cation of the words, there lies concealed something 
grander, and deeper, and broader ; high as Heaven, 
deep as Hell. 

And this supposition is so monstrous an one ; seems 
so derogatory to their notions of the mind of GOD ; 
it is deemed so improbable a thing, that the words 
of Him, whose ways are not like Man's ways, should 
span the present and the future, at a grasp ; that He 
whose "thoughts are very deep," should, with lan- 
guage thereto corresponding, be setting forth CHRIST 
and His Eedemption, while He tells of Patriarchs and 


Lawgivers, Judges and Kings, priests and pro- 
phets of the LORD : I say, it is deemed so incredible 
a thing that Moses should have written concerning 
CHRIST, (though our SAVIOUR CHRIST Himself declares 
that Moses did write concerning Him) 6 ; or that the 
occasional expressions of the Prophets should really 
contain the far-reaching allusions which in the New 
Testament are assigned to them; that the men I 
speak of, men of learning (sometimes), and of piety 
too, will condescend to every imaginable artifice in 
order to escape the cogency of the Divine statement. 
St. Paul was infected with the Hebrew method of 
interpretation, (It is of course assumed that this 
method was essentially erroneous ! It is overlooked 
that our LORD had recourse to it, as well as St. Paul ! 
It is either forgotten, or denied, that the HOLY GHOST, 
speaking by the mouth of St. Paul, acquiesced in 
every instance of such interpretation on the part of 
His chosen vessel !).... As for St. Matthew, he 
addressed his Gospel to the Jews, and therefore rea- 
soned as a Jew would. (St. Matthew's Gospel was 
not of course intended for the Christian Church ! 
The blessed Evangelist was also deeply learned, it is 
of course reasonable to suppose, in the sacred her- 
meneutics of the Hebrew Schools!) .... The other 
Sacred Writers, it is pretended, all wrote according 
to the prejudices of the age in which they lived. In 
all these cases, it is contended that merely in the way 
of Accommodation, is the language of the Old Testa- 
ment cited in the New. What was said of one thing 
is transferred to quite another, to suit the purpose 
of the later writer; to illustrate his reasoning, to 

adorn or to enforce his statements And this 

e See above, pp. 157160. 


brings me to a question of so much importance, that 
I pause to make a few remarks upon it. In the pre- 
sent discourse, it shall suffice to remark on the doc- 
trine of Scriptural ACCOMMODATION; for which it is 
presumed that the text, (selected not without refe- 
rence to the present Sacred Season,) affords ample 
scope, as well as supplies a fair occasion. 

Now, it is not to the term " Accommodation," that 
we entertain any dislike ; but to the notion which it 
seems intended to convey ; and to the principle which 
we believe that it actually embodies. That the HOLY 
SPIRIT in the New Testament sometimes accommo- 
dates to His purpose a quotation in the Old, is very 
often a mere matter of fact. In all those places, for 
instance, where St. Paul inverts the clauses of a place 
cited, there is a manifest accommodation of Scrip- 
ture, in the strictest sense of the word. When two, 
three, or more texts, widely disconnected in the Old 
Testament, are continuously exhibited in the New, 
a species of accommodation has, of course, been em- 
ployed. The same may be said when a change of 
construction is discoverable. Again, there is accom- 
modation, of course, when narrative, legal enact- 
ment, or prophecy, is so exhibited that the point of 
its hidden teaching shall become apparent. Nay, in 
a certain sense of the word, there is " accommodation," 
as often as a prophecy, however plain, is applied to 
the historical event which it purports to foretel. The 
prophecy may be said, (with no great propriety in- 
deed, but still, intelligibly,) to have been accommo- 
dated to its fulfilment. Occasionally, a general pro- 
mise is made particular, as in Hebrews xiii. 6 ; and 
perhaps this might be called an accommodation of the 
text to the needs of an individual believer. Yet is it 


plain that in all these cases { application] or ' adapta- 
tion] would be a better word. 

But such ways of adducing Holy Scripture, we 
suspect, are not by any means what is meant by ( Ac- 
commodation ;' and they do not certainly correspond 
with the notion which the term is calculated to con- 
vey. The place in the Old Covenant, seems, (from 
the term employed,) to have been forced, against its 
conscience, as it were, to bear witness in behalf of the 
New. It has been wrenched away from its natural 
bearing and intention ; and made to accommodate it- 
self, and, on the part of the writer, quite arbitrarily, 
to a purpose, with which it has, in reality, no man- 
ner of connexion. This, I say, is the notion which 
the term " Accommodation " seems to convey. 

I am supposing, of course, (as the opposite school 
is, of course, supposing,) not an illustration, which 
obviously any writer, whether ordinary or inspired, 
has a right to introduce at will ; but a case where the 
cogency of the argument depends entirely on the place 
cited. A sudden and unforeseen requirement arose; 
nothing entirely fit and applicable occurred to the 
memory : but by an arbitrary handling of the ancient 
Oracles of GOD, (altogether illogical and inconclusive 
indeed, yet entitled to a certain measure of respectful 
consideration at our hands, and certainly having a 
strong claim on our indulgence,) the later writer saw 
that he should be able to substantiate his position, or 
to strengthen his argument, or to prove his point. 
And he did not hesitate to do so. It is surprising that 
his hearers or his readers should have accepted his 
statements, and admitted his reasoning ; very ! But 
they did. And it is for us, the heirs of the wisdom 
of all the ages, to detect the time-honoured fallacy and 


to expose it. This, I say, is the notion which the 
term " Accommodation" seems calculated to convey; 
and it is to be feared, does very often represent. 

And the introduction of this principle, as already 
explained, I cannot but regard as the most insidious 
device of all. It admits fully all that we have else- 
where laboured to establish. It freely grants that 
Apostles and Evangelists were inspired. But then, 
it denies that much of what they deliver in the way 
of interpretation of Scripture, is to be regarded as real 
interpretation. By a taste for Allegory; by Kheto- 
rical license ; on any principle, it seems, but one, is 
the Divine method to be accounted for ; and the plain 
facts of the case to be obscured, or explained away. 

Now I altogether reject this principle of arbitrary 
" Accommodation." I hold it to be a mere dream and 
delusion. And I reject it on the following grounds : 

1. It is evidently a mere excuse for Human igno- 
rance, a transparent deceit. Men do not see how to 
explain, or account for, the apparent license of the 
Divine method ; and so they have invented this me- 
thod of escape. Most cordially do I subscribe to the 
opinion expressed by Bishop Bull, in his discussion of 
the very text which we are now about to consider: 
"Atque, ut verum fatear, semper existimavi, allu- 
siones istas, (ad quas confugiunt quidam tanquam ad 
sacrum suse ignorantise asylum,) plerumque aliud nihil 
esse, quam sacrse Scrip tursB abusiones manifestasV ? 

2. The " theory of Accommodation," (as it is called,) 
is attended with this fatal inconvenience, that, (like 
certain other expedients which have been invented to 
get over difficulties in Eeligion,) it altogether fails of 
its object. For even if we should grant, (for argu- 

{ Harm. Apost. Diss. Post., cap. xi. 3. 


ment's sake,) that some quotations from the Old Tes- 
tament can be explained on this principle, so long as 
there remain others which defy it altogether, nothing 
is gained by the proposed expedient. Thus, so long 
as attention is directed to certain of the places in St. 
Paul's writings already referred to g , there is certainly 
no absurdity in adducing them as instances of Bheto- 
rical license. But how can it be pretended that the 
text whereby St. Paul establishes, (on two distinct 
occasions,) the right of the Christian Ministry to a 
liberal maintenance, with what propriety can it be 
thought that Deut. xxv. 4 lends itself to such a theory ? 
Those words seem, and, apart from Eevelation, might, 
without hesitation have been declared, to have no- 
thing at all to do with the matter ^! To talk of the 
"accommodation 77 of words so eminently unaccommo- 
dating, is unreasonable, and even absurd. 

3. But, allowing the advocates of this theory all 
they can possibly require, the result of their endea- 
vours is but to make the Sacred writers ridiculous 
after all. For it attributes to them a method, which, if 
it be a mere exhibition of human fancy, often seems 
to be but a species of ingenious trifling, scarcely en- 
titled to serious attention at our hands. There is no 
alternative, in short, between certain of the expo- 
sitions which we meet with, being Divine, and 
therefore worthy of all acceptation ; or Human, 
and therefore entitled to no absolute deference 

4. On the other hand, learned research has hitherto 
invariably tended to shew that the meaning claimed 

See above, pp. 152-7. 

h Consider again the Divine exposition, (in 1 St. John v. 6,) 
of St. John xix. 34. 


for Scripture by an Apostle or Evangelist, does actually 
exist there. Thus, it has been admirably demon- 
strated that the Evangelical meaning attributed by 
St. Matthew, (in the first chapters of his Gospel,) to 
certain places in the ancient Prophetical Scriptures of 
the Jewish people, derives nothing but corroboration 
from the inquiries of Piety and Learning 1 . ... It is 
proposed on the present occasion, without pretending 
to bring to the question any such helps as these, to 
examine the portion of Holy Scripture already under 
our notice, with a view to ascertaining what light it 
will throw on the main question at issue. To this 
task, I now address myself. 

St. Paul's words, from the 6th to the 9th verse (in- 
clusive) of the xth chapter of his Epistle to the Bo- 
rn ans, present probably, as fair an example as could be 
desired of what is sometimes called " Accommodation." 
To say the truth, I know not an instance of what, in 
any uninspired writing, I should have been myself more 
inclined to stigmatize as such. The Apostle begins 
an affectionate remonstrance with his countrymen by 
declaring that they " did not understand the Kighte- 
ousness of GOD ;" (that is, the Divine method whereby 
GOD wills that we shall be made righteous, by faith 
in CHRIST;} but desired to set up (o-rfjo-aL) a righteous- 
ness of their own, on the worthless foundation of their 
own Works k . " For,' 7 (he proceeds ; with plain refer- 
ence to what "the Eighteousness of GOD" is;) "For 

1 See Dr. Mill' s Christian Advocate's publication for 1844, The 
Historical Character of the circumstances of our LORD'S Nativity 
vindicated against some recent mythical interpreters, especially 
p. 402 to p. 434. 

k Cf. Phil. iii. 79. 


CHRIST is the end" (aim, or object,) " of the Law 1 to 
every one who hath faith" in CHRIST. St. Paul straight- 
way proceeds, (as his manner is,) to establish this 
latter proposition. How does he do it? " For? (he 
begins again>) " Moses describes the nature of the 
righteousness which proceeds from the Law, when 
he declares [in Leviticus xviii. 5,] that ' The man who 
hath done the deeds commanded by the Law, shall live 
thereby.' But concerning the Eighteousness which 
proceeds from Faith, "[it was called before, c the 
Eighteousness of GOD,'] " Moses writes as follows" 1 : 
' Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into 
Heaven? (that is, to bring CHRIST down:) or, Who 
shall descend into the deep ? (that is, to bring CHRIST 
up from the dead.) But what saith it ? The word is 
nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart : that is, 
the word of faith, which we preach : because if thou 
shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD JESUS, and 
shalt believe in thine heart that GOD raised Him from 
the dead, thou shalt be saved." 

Here then is a quotation from the xxxth chapter of 
the Book of Deuteronomy, a quotation introduced in 
the way of argument, in support of a proposition : the 
remarkable circumstance being, that St. Paul adduces 
the words of Moses with extraordinary license. For 
first, he omits as many of the Prophet's words as 
make little for his purpose, while he introduces a very 
remarkable alteration in some of the words which he 

1 Consider St. John vi. 46, and all similar places. 

m On the words, C H 8e e'/c vlvrtms diKaioo-vvrj ourw Xey, Theodoret 
remarks : 'A.VT\ TOV, nepl 8e rrjs fK Trio-Tews diKaioo-vvrjs, OVTCOS \fyti' ov 
yap rj SiKaioo-viv) ravTa Ae'yct, aXXa dta MaxrcW, 6 TO>V oXav Qeos, irepl TOV 
vopov ravTa eiprjKe' 8tddaKa>v 'lovdaiovs ens fii^a trovoav rr]v TO>V irpanTfa>it 
didaarKa\iav cdegavro. Theodoret, Gat., p. 374. 


retains : amounting to a substitution of one sentence 
for another. And next, there is one single word, which 
he expands into an important phrase ; and that merely 
to suit his own argument. But the strangest thing 
of all is the interpretation which he delivers of 
words, which as we have just seen, are partly his 
own, partly, the words of Moses : by which inter- 
pretation, the most strikingly Christian character is 
fastened upon sayings pronounced by the ancient Law- 
giver in the land of Moab, to the Jewish people. 
We do further, for our own part, most freely admit, 
that the place, as it stands in the Old Testament, 
neither at first, nor at second sight, seems to have any 
such meaning as the Apostle assigns to it. I will re- 
mind you of the words in Deuteronomy, by reading 
the entire passage : " This commandment which I 
command thee this day, ... is not hidden from thee, 
neither is it far off. It is not in Heaven, that thou 
shouldest say, "Who shall go up for us to Heaven, and 
bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 
Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, 
Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, 
that we may hear it, and do it ? But the word is very 
nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that 
thou mayest do it." . . . Now, I say, one of ourselves 
might read this passage in the Book of Deuteronomy 
over a hundred times, and never suspect that Moses, 
when he so wrote, was writing concerning faith in 
CHRIST : and yet we have the sure testimony of the 
HOLY SPIRIT to the fact that he was. The inquiry, 
" Who shall ascend into Heaven?' 7 , signifies, we are 
told, " Who shall ascend, to bring down CHRIST from 
above?" And just so, the other clause, " Who shall 
descend into the deep ?", is declared to be an incom- 



plete expression : the full phrase being, " Who shall 
descend, to bring up CHRIST* from the dead" .... 
Now we never desire to see a non-natural sense fastened 
on the Inspired "Word. With Hooker, we " hold it for 
a most infallible rule in expositions of sacred Scrip- 
ture, that, where a literal construction will stand, the 
furthest from the letter is commonly the worst." We 
contend therefore that whereas we have here the ex- 
plicit assurance that Moses wrote of none other than 
CHRIST, though his words do not bear upon them 
any evidence of the fact, it is a mere trifling with 
holy things, to call the fact in question. 

Here, however, we shall be reminded that the great 
Apostle, though professing to quote, confessedly 
argues in part from his own language, which is not 
the language of Moses. Moses says, " Who shall go 
over the sea for us ?" (rls dLaTrepaaei r^uv efc TO irepav 
TTJS 6aXd(To-r]s ;) And since the version of the LXX 
is what the Author of the Epistle to the Eomans 
follows in this place, it is reasonable to expect that 
he would adhere to that version, or at least to the 
sense of that version, in the exhibition of so im- 
portant a clause as the present. Whereas, instead of 
" Who shall go over the sea" we find St. Paul writing, 
"Who shall go down into the deep ?" (TtV Kara/Br}- 
<rTcu el? rrjv aftvcrcrov ;) language evidently highly 
suggestive of the mysterious transaction to which the 
same St. Paul says it contains a reference ; but cer- 
tainly not the language of Moses. And we shall be 

n Our E. V., following the translations since Cranmer's, here in- 
serts the word " again," which is certainly not implied by the 

The expression is, of course, wholly dissimilar from that in 

Ps. CVli. 23, oi KaTaftaivovTfs (Is 6a\a<r<rav ev TrXot'otr, K. r. X. 


reminded that this is not merely phraseology rescued 
from vagueness, and made definite ; but it is the 
actual substitution of one thought for another. This 
is what will be said ; and if it be followed up by the 
assertion that here, therefore, we have a clear ex- 
ample of Scriptural Accommodation, it might seem, at 
first sight, impossible to deny the fact. 

For our own parts, we are inclined to meet the 
present difficulty, and every similar one, in quite 
another spirit ; and dispose of the objection, somewhat 
in the following way. The same GOD who gave us 
the Scriptures of the Old Testament, gave us the 
New Testament also. The Bible is one, He who in- 
spired the Law, inspired the Gospel. The HOLY 
GHOST pleads with us in both alike. Surely, there- 
fore, He who spake of old time by the Prophets, may 
be allowed, when, in the last days, He speaks by the 
Apostles of CHRIST, to explain His earlier meaning, 
if He will. Surely, He may tell the Israel of GOD, 
if He pleases, what He meant by the language He 
held of old time to Israel after the flesh ! Yea, and 
if it seemeth good to Him to call in the wealth of 
His ancient treasury, in order to recoin it that He 
may the more enrich us thereby : if it pleases Him 
to take His ancient speeches back again into His 
mouth, in order that He may syllable them anew, 
making them sweeter than honey to our lips, yea, 
sweeter than honey and the honeycomb ; what is 
Man that he should reply against GOD ? What should 
be our posture, at witnessing such a spectacle, but 
one of Adoration ? What, our becoming language, 
but praise ? 

It is easy to anticipate the answer that will be 
made to all this. We shall be told that we are, in 



some sort, begging the question. The Bible is an 
Inspired Book, indeed : but what is Inspiration ? 
Moses wrote the Book called "Deuteronomy :" St. 
Paul wrote the Epistle to the Eomans. And St. Paul, 
quoting a passage out of the older record, has 
substituted a sentiment of his own for a sentiment 
contained in the writings of Moses. He does the 
same thing in other places ; and elsewhere, as here, 
he proceeds to reason upon the data he has so ob- 
tained. This, it will be said, is the phenomenon 
which we have to deal with. 

But, we reply, it is manifest that he who so argues, 
with all his apparent good sense, and fairness, is 
entirely committed to a theory concerning Inspiration ; 
and that a very unworthy one. The Bible comes to us 
as an Inspired Book ; claiming to be the very Word 
of GOD. The Holy Church throughout all the World, 
doth acknowledge it to be so. Surely, therefore, it is 
for us to study its contents by the light of this pre- 
vious fact. But quite contrary is the method of our 
opponents. They treat the Bible as if it were an 
ordinary Book. They submit its contents to the same 
irreverent handling as they would the productions 
of a merely human intellect. They not only reason 
about its claims from its contents, but they would 
even pronounce upon its claims, from the same evi- 
dence. They dare to sit in judgment upon it. Hence 
their lax notions on the subject of Inspiration. They 
first run riot among statements which are too hard 
for them ; and when they have perplexed themselves 
with these, till the field is strewed with doubts, and 
the limits of unbelief and mistrust have become ex- 
tended on every side, Inspiration, like an ill-defined 
boundary-line on a map, is suffered faintly to hem in, 


and enclose the utmost verge of the unhappy domain. 
Whereas, we maintain that a belief in the Bible, 
as an Inspired Book, should, at the outset, prescribe 
a limit to human speculations. 

Let this belief encircle us exactly, and entirely; 
and define, at once, the area within which all our 
reasonings must be taught to marshal themselves, and 
to find their full development. In brief, our opponents 
meet our remonstrance by another ; but, as we con- 
tend, an unreasonable one ; at least, as proceeding 
from men who, no less than ourselves, allow freely 
the Inspiration of Scripture. We say, The Bible is 
the word of GOD. Fill your heart with this convic- 
tion, and then humbly address yourself to the study of 
its pages. It is argued on the other side, The pages 
of the Bible are full of perplexing statements. They 
evolve strange phenomena, interminably. Convince 
yourself of this ; and then make up your mind, if you 
can, about the Inspiration of the Bible p I shall 

P I cannot forbear transcribing the following passage in an 
elaborate apology which has recently appeared for Essays and 
Reviews : " Among the many proposals which are floating about 
for Essays and Counter-essays to vindicate the Doctrines supposed 
to be combated in this volume, let us be allowed to suggest this 
one : ' The Nature of Biblical Inspiration, as tested by a careful 
examination of the Septuagint Yersion with special reference to 
the sanction given to it by the Apostles, and to its variations, by 
way of addition or omission, from tbe revised Text of the Canonical 
Scriptures.' The conclusions of such an investigation would be 
worth a hundred eager declarations on one side or the other, and 
would be absolutely decisive of the chief questions at issue." 
(Edinburgh Review, April, 1861, p. 483.) .... Now I scruple not 
to affirm that a well-informed, and faithful student of the Scrip- 
tures would covet no better portion for himself than liberty to 
accept, in the most public manner possible, such a challenge as the 


have occasion, by and by, to explain more in detail the 
spirit in which the Divine Logic, Inspired reasoning 
as it may be called, is to be approached. For the 
moment, I am content to waive the question ; and to 
be St. Paul's apologist, almost as if I had met with 
his words in an uninspired book. 

Solemnly protesting, then, that the ground we 
have just occupied is the only true ground on which 
to take our stand; but withdrawing from it because 
we do not fear the appeal to unassisted Eeason, even 
in matters of Faith, so that the proper limits and 
conditions of inquiry be but observed; we proceed 
to inquire whether, apart from Eevelation, there be 
not good ground for believing that the words of the 
ancient Hebrew Lawgiver and Prophet contain and 
mean the very thing which the Christian Apostle says 
they do. We change our language at this stage of 
the inquiry. We no longer assert, (as before we did,) 
that the HOLY GHOST speaking by the mouth of Moses, 
must have meant, what the same HOLY GHOST, speak- 
ing by the mouth of St. Paul, declares that He did 
mean. We are willing to study the sacred text solely 
by the light which grave criticism and patient learn- 
ing have thrown upon it. Our inquiry now, is this ; 
Although the words in Deuteronomy, read over 
attentively by ourselves, suggest no such Christian 
meaning as we find affixed to them in the Epistle to 
the Romans, is there no reason, traditional or other- 
wise, for supposing that they do envelope that mean- 
ing ; yea, so teem and swell with it, that the germ of 
the flower may be actually detected in the yet un- 
opened bud ?....! proceed to this inquiry. 

1. And first, it is obvious, to any one reading the 
xxixth and xxxth chapters of the last Book of Moses, 


that they contain another Covenant, beside that of 
Horeb. This is expressly stated in the first verse of 
the xxixth chapter: " These are the words of the 
Covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make 
with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside 
the Covenant which He made with them in Horeb V ]STot 
to stand too stiffly thereupon, however 1 ", let it be at 
least freely allowed that even if we choose to regard 
this chapter and the next as a renewal only of the 
Covenant made in Horeb, it is a distinct renewal; 
both in respect of time and of place. Of time, for 
whereas the Covenant of Sinai belongs to the first of 
the forty years of wandering, the Covenant of Moab 
belongs to the last. Of place, for whereas the other 
was made at the furthest limit of the people's wander- 
ings, this belongs to their nearest approach to Canaan. 
And I confidently ask, After such an announcement, 
and at a moment like that, the forty years of typical 
wandering ended, and the earthly type of the heavenly 
inheritance full in view, Jordan alone intercepting the 
vision of their Best; shall we wonder, if here and 
there a ray of coming glory shall be found to flash 
through the language of the dying patriarch ? if some 
traces shall be discernible, even in the language of 
Moses, of the dayspring of the Gospel of CHRIST ? 

2. We find that it contains not a few sayings in 
support of such a presumption. The 10th verse opens 
the covenant, and in the following solemn language : 

i See the valuable exposition of the text, by Bp. Bull, in the 
Appendix (K), to which I am very largely indebted. 

1 Opposed to Bp. Bull in his opinion, on this matter, seem Ains- 
worth, Patrick, Parker (Siblioth. JSibl.), Cornelius a Lapide, the 
Critici Sacri, &c. I cannot but think that the truth is with the 
first-named Commentator. 


"Ye stand, this day, all of you, before the LORD 
your GOD : the Captains of your tribes, your Elders, 
and your officers, with all the men of Israel ; your 
little ones, your wives, and the stranger that is in thy 
camp, from the hewer of thy wood, to the drawer 
of thy water." And what was the intention of this 
solemn standing before the LORD? Even "that 
thou shouldest enter into Covenant with the LORD thy 
GOD, and enter into His oath, which the LORD thy 
GOD maketh with thee this day." The purport of the 
Covenant thus to be made, was, that GOD might esta- 
blish Israel that day for a people unto Himself, and 
that He might be unto them a GOD, (an expression 
elsewhere appropriated by the Great Apostle to the 
Christian Church 8 ,) as He had . . . sworn unto their 
Fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. So that 
we have here the renewal of the Evangelical Covenant 
made with Abraham, and renewed to Isaac and Jacob, 
which is clearly distinguished in Scripture from the 
Legal Covenant, made with their children 430 years 
after ; and which is declared ineffectual to disannul the 
earlier one, confirmed before by GOD, and pointing 
entirely to CHRIST *. That earlier Evangelical Cove- 

8 See 2 Cor. vi. 16, (quoting Lev. xxvi. 12), where see "Words- 
worth's note. Heb. viii. 6 13, especially ver. 10, (quoting Jer. 
xxxi. 33. Comp. Jer. xxiv. 7 : xxx. 22 : xxxi. 1 : xxxii. 38.) 
Compare Horn. ix. 25, 26, (also 1 St. Pet. ii. 10,) with Hos. ii. 23 : 
i. 10. See also Ezek. xi. 20: xiv. 11: xxxvi. 28: xxxvii. 27; 
and Zeeh. viii. 8 : xiii. 9. Lastly, consider Rev. xxi. 3 ; where 
" the types of the itinerant Tabernacle in the Wilderness, the figura- 
tive ritual and festal joys of the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated in 
the literal Jerusalem, are consummated in the Heavenly Jerusalem." 
(Wordsworth.) See also Rev. vii. 15, with the annotation of the 
same Commentator. 

1 rrpoKKvpa>p,evr)v .... etV XptoroV. Gal. iii. 17. 


nant then, it was, which was renewed in the land of 
Moab ; in the course of renewing which, the words 
of the text occur. 

3. And that it was indeed the Evangelical, (not the 
Legal Covenant,) which is here spoken of, is abun- 
dantly confirmed by the subsequent language of the 
passage : for Moses proceeds, " Neither with you 
only do I make this Covenant and this oath ; but with 
him that standeth here this day with us before the 
LORD our GOD, and also with him that is not here with 
us this day*:" meaning, (as the ancient Targum ex- 
pounds the place,) "with every generation that shall 
rise up unto the world's end." It was the same Cove- 
nant, therefore, which is made with ourselves ; " for the 
promise is unto" us, and to our " children, and to all 
that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our GOD 
shall call*:" " not according to the Covenant which 
GOD made with the Fathers of Israel in the day that 
He took them by the hand to bring them out of the 
Land of Egypt V 

Yet more remarkably perhaps is this established by 
the language of the ensuing chapter : for GOD therein 
promises that Circumcision of the heart whereby men 
should be enabled to love the LORD their GOD with 
all their heart and with all their soul. Now this seems 
clearly to intimate not legal but Evangelical obedi- 
ence, the result of the free outpouring of the HOLY 
SPIRIT of GOD ; of which, in the Law, (properly so 
called,) we find no promise whatever. Here then we 
discover another anticipation of something which be- 
longs to the times of the Gospel. 

And this Evangelical complexion is to be recognized 

n Deut. xxix. 14, 15. x Acts ii. 39 : Compare iii. 25. 

7 Jer. xxxi. 32. Consider verses 33-4 quoted in Heb. x. 16, 17. 
See above, note (t). 


in the entire contents of the xxixth and xxxth chap- 
ters. They contain no single mention of ceremonial 
rites or observances, of which the Law is, for the 
most part, full. But free obedience and perfect love 
are inculcated as the condition of blessedness : while 
hearty repentance is made the sole condition of for- 
giveness of sin. 

In connexion with this, I may call your attention 
to a curious coincidence, if indeed it be not some- 
thing more. On the sincere repentance of the people, 
it is promised " that then the LORD thy GOD will turn 
thy captivity ;" which the Targum of Jonathan para- 
phrases, " His WORD will receive with delight thy 
repentance :" while the Septuagint even more remark- 
ably renders the words " will heal thy sins;" that 
is, " will be thy JESUS." Moses proceeds, " and 
gather thee from all the nations whither the LORD 
thy GOD hath called thee." And what is this but one 
of the very places, if it be not the very place, to which 
St. John alludes when he declares that Caiaphas pro- 
phesied that JESUS should die for that nation ; and not 
for that nation only ; but that He should gather toge- 
ther in one, the children of GOD that were scattered 
abroad z ?" 

4, Nor is it, finally, a little remarkable that, by 
the general consent of the Hebrew Doctors, this xxxth 
chapter has ever been held to have reference to the 
times of MESSIAH. The restoration spoken, is referred 
by them to the restoration to be effected by CHRIST : 
while the promises it contains are connected with 
those prophetic intimations which clearly point to the 
days of the Gospel a . 

z St. John xi. 49 52. 

a "Diligenter observandum est, ex consensu Hebraeormn, caput 


So much, then, for the evidence, apart from Revela- 
tion, which the general complexion of the place in 
Deuteronomy affords to the reasonableness of the 
meaning affixed to it by the voice of the later Scrip- 
tures. Before we proceed to examine a little in de- 
tail the words of the text, we may be surely allowed 
to remind ourselves of the Testimony which St. Paul 
bears to the Evangelical character of what is here 
delivered. He asserts, in the most direct and em- 
phatic manner, that it is the Eighteousness which is 
by Faith which here speaks b . He is contrasting the 
spirit of the Law, with that of the Gospel. He is 
setting the requirements of the one against those of 
the other. To exhibit the former, he quotes from 
Leviticus. To enable us to judge of the latter, 
he quotes this very place in Deuteronomy. Having 
shewn the justification under the Law, which is by 
entire fulfilment of every enjoined work ; the Apo- 
stle describes the Eighteousness of the Gospel, 
which is by Faith in CHRIST. And he discovers its 
voice in the present chapter : nay, he calls our atten- 
tion to its language ; and, lest the intention of it 
should escape us, he proceeds to supply us, not only 
with an interpretation of it, but with a paraphrase 
as well. 

Enough has been said, I trust, to render this pro- 
ceeding on the part of the Apostle no matter of sur- 

hoc ad regnum CHEISTI pertinere. Unde etiam Bachai dicit, hoc 
loco promissionem. esse quod sub Rege MESSIAH omnibus qui de 
federe sunt, circumcisio cordis contingat, citans Joelem, ii. 28." 
Fagius, (in the Critici Sacri,) on Deut. xxx. 11. 

b " Apostolus dicit hoc esse verbum fidei, quod ad !N"ovum Testa- 
mentum. pertinet. Quae ergo scripta sunt in libro legis hujus in 
figura dicta sunt, pertinentia ad Novum Testamentum." Augus- 
tiaus, in Nic. Lyra, ad loc. 


prise. Let us see whether the particulars of his in- 
terpretation are altogether novel and unprecedented 
either. The words of Moses which we have to con- 
sider, it will be remembered, are these : The u com- 
mandment which I command thee this day, it is not 
hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in 
Heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for 
us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear 
it and do it ? Neither is it beyond the Sea, that 
thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the Sea for us, 
and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it ? 
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, 
and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it c ." 

Now, that all this denotes something close at hand 
and easy, in place of something supposed to be re- 
mote and difficult, is obvious. The whole of the 
earlier part of it, St. Paul affirms to be tantamount to 
the following injunction, " Say not in thine heart, 
Who shall ascend into Heaven, to bring CHRIST down ; 
or who descend into the abyss, to bring CHRIST up 
from the dead." Concerning which words of caution, 
we have to remark that there seems to have been 
no intention whatever on the part of the Apostle, to 
warn his readers against requiring a renewed Eevela- 
tion of CHRIST in the flesh, or a second Eesurrection 
of the Eternal SON from the dead. He is illustrating 
the nature of Legal and Evangelical Eighteousness, 
by the language of the Jewish Law. He contrasts 
the two, in their respective requirements; finding 
the voice of both in the writings of Moses : of the 
former, in connexion with the covenant of Sinai ; of 
the latter, in connexion with the covenant which 
the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children 

c Deut. xxx. 1114. 


of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the former 
Covenant. "With characteristic fire and earnestness, 
glancing, as usual, at every side of the question before 
him, having, a little way back, explained himself, 
without explanation, when he inserted that remark- 
able parenthetical clause, reXos yap vo^ov Xpi2T02 d , 
"for CHRIST is the object of the Law;" in order 
now to shew how thoroughly this is the case, how full 
the Law is of Him, in whom alone it finds its perfect 
scope, end, and completion, he explains that the 
very phrase "Who shall ascend up into Heaven?" 
pointed to nothing less than the Incarnation of CHRIST : 
that, "Who shall go over the Sea?" contained a 
wondrous far-sighted allusion, (not the less real be- 
cause unsuspected,) even to the Resurrection of our 
LORD from death. So true is it, " that both in the Old 
and New Testament Everlasting Life is offered to 
Mankind by CHRIST, who is the only Mediator between 
GOD and Man, being both GOD and Man. Wherefore 
they are not to be heard, which feign that the old 
Fathers did look only for transitory promises 6 ." 

Moses then here warns the ancient people of GOD 
against an evil heart of unbelief. "Say not in thy 
heart, Who shall ascend up into Heaven ?" for such 
words on the part of Man would imply disbelief in the 
doctrine that the SON of GOD should hereafter take 
upon Him human flesh. (Since " no man hath as- 
cended up to Heaven, but He that came down from 
Heaven, even the Son of Man which is in Heaven f .") 
" Neither say, Who shall descend into the deep ?" 
for such words on human lips must imply disbelief in 
MESSIAH'S Descent into Hell, and Eesurrection from 
the Dead. The mystery of Eedemption might not 

d Rom. x. 4. Art. vii. ' St. John iii. 13. 


be impatiently demanded ; but must be looked for in 
faith, until the fulness of time should come, and the 
whole mystery of godliness should be revealed to 
the wondering eyes of Men and Angels g . 

We shall perhaps be asked, whether it is credible 
that Moses can have had any conception that such 
a meaning as St. Paul here ascribes to his words, did 
really underlie them ? To which we answer, first, that 
it is by no means incredible 11 . And next, that whe- 
ther Moses knew the full meaning of the language he 
was commissioned to deliver, or not, seems, (as al- 
ready explained 1 ,) to be an entirely separate question : 
the only question before us, being, whether his lan- 
guage contained that meaning ', or not .... To what ex- 
tent the Prophets, who, (we know,) studied their own 
prophecies k , were ever permitted to fathom their 
depth, is a mere matter of speculation 1 ; delightful in- 
deed, but in the present case quite irrelevant. In the 
meantime, we know for certain that Moses prophesied 
of CHRIST m . 

And next, if it be said that really this is only a 
proverbial expression, a Hebrew phrase to denote 
something passing difficult, and hard of attainment : 

* I Tim. iii. 16. 

h The reader is invited to consider Acts ii. 24 to 31, attending 
particularly to what St. Peter says in ver. 30-1. "Even without 
this key," (says Dr. M' Caul,) "the Rabbis interpreted Psalm xvi. 
of the Resurrection." 

1 See above, pp. 171-2. k St. Pet. i. 11. 

1 " Though I think it clear that the Prophets did not understand 
the full meaning of their predictions ; it is another question how far 
they thought they did, and in what sense they understood them." 
Butler's Analogy, P. n. ch, vii. 

m See Acts xxvi. 22, 23 : xxviii. 23. St. John i. 46 : v. 46. 
St. Luke xxiv. 27, &c. 


(as when, in the . Book of Proverbs, it is asked, 
"Who hath ascended up into Heaven, or who hath 
descended 11 ?") we answer, we see no ground what- 
ever for supposing that in the place just quoted, it is 
a proverb, and no more, although from its use in 
the Talmud, the expression would certainly appear to 
have become, at last, proverbial . If a proverb, how- 
ever, it seems to have been a sacred one; nor can 
any place be appealed to where it occurs, nearly of 
the antiquity of this, in the writings of Moses. To 
pretend therefore to explain away a certain mode of 
expression, in the place where it first stands on record, 
and where it is declared to have a deep and mys- 
terious meaning, simply because, subsequently, it was 
(to all appearance) used without any such pregnancy 
of signification, is, manifestly illogical. 

Nay, there is good ground for presuming, that the 
very place last quoted, contains a reference to the 
Eternal SON : for Agur proceeds to ask, " "What is 
His Name, and ivliat is His Son's Name, if thou canst 
tell p ?" . . . But the reference is far more obvious when 

n Prov. xxx. 4. 

e.g. "Si quis dixerit mulieri, Si adscenderis in firmamentum, 
aut descenderis in abyssum, eris mihi desponsata, haec conditio 
frustranea est." Nasir ix. 2, apud Wetstein, (in Rom. x. 6.) 

P "The whole passage (Prov. xxx. 2 5,) may be thus para- 
phrased : With my limited understanding I cannot attain the 
knowledge of GOB ; for to know GOD, is to Jcnow Him who is 
omnipresent, filling Heaven and Earth ; it is to know Him who 
is omnipotent, ruling over the winds and the waters, the most 
unstable of all elements ; it is to know Him who created all things ; 
it is to know His Name, and the name of His SON. But this know- 
ledge can be attained only by Revelation : and he that would attain 
to it even from Revelation, must not pass over any one word as 
insignificant, for every word is purified like silver : neither must 


the same expressions occur in the Book of Baruch. 
" Who hath gone up into Heaven, and taken her, and 
brought her down from the clouds ? Who hath gone 
over the sea, and found her q ?" For Wisdom is there 
spoken of ; and Wisdom, as we remember, is one of 
the names of CHRIST, the name by which He is dis- 
coursed of, in the Book of Proverbs. 

The uninspired evidence which completes the con- 
nexion of this place of Deuteronomy with the second 
Person in the Blessed Trinity, is the traditional inter- 
pretation assigned to it by the Hebrew Commentators. 
The Targtim of Jerusalem expounds the latter clause 
as follows: " Neither is the Law beyond the Great 
Sea, that thou shouldest say, that we had one like 
Jonas the prophet that might go down to the bottom 
of the Great Sea, and bring it to us." So that the 
very Jewish Doctors themselves here become our in- 
structors; and teach us that a greater than Jonas 
must be here, even while they guide our eyes to 
that especial type of our SAVIOUR CHRIST in His De- 
scent into Hell, and Kising again from the dead. I 
say, the very Jewish Doctors themselves here contri- 
bute their testimony; and yield a most unsuspicious 
witness to the inspired exegesis of the Apostle : for, 
"as Jonas was three days and three nights in the 
whale's belly," so, (they clearly mean to say), so 
should it be with the man whom Moses here indi- 
cateth : and so, (these are the words of CHRIST Him- 

he add to Revelation, or he will be sure to go astray." From the 
Appendix (pp. 46-7) to a Sermon by Dr. M'Caul, on The Eternal 
SonsMp of the Messiah, 1838. (Interesting and precious as this 
paraphrase is, I humbly suspect that the words in italics contain 
a vast deal more than the learned writer indicates.) 
q Baruch iii. 29. 


self), so was " the Son of Man three days and three 
nights in the heart of the Earth r ." 

You will of course notice the facility with which 
the Jews themselves, interpreting their own Scrip- 
tures, have here exchanged the notions of going 
"over the sea," ("beyond the sea," as it is in the 
Hebrew,) and "going down to the bottom" of the sea. 
St. Paul seems, in this place, to have " accommodated" 
the words of Moses : but we cannot fail to perceive 
that the Hebrew text must cry aloud for such sup- 
posed " accommodation ;" yea, cry aloud, even in the 
uncircumcised ears of the Jewish people; that their 
own Commentators, as if divinely guided by the good 
hand of GOD, should bear their own independent wit- 
ness to the correctness of the Apostolic interpretation. 

Nor may I fail to call your attention to the term 
employed by St. Paul to denote the Sea : a term, 
surely divinely chosen. He had just before, (in the 
6th and 7th verses,) employed the Yersion of the 
LXX : he was about to use it again in the 8th verse : 
but in this, (the 7th,) he departs from it. Instead of, 
Tl$ Sicnrtpacrei rjplv ely TO irepav TTJ? OaXao'crrj^^ 
he writes, TtV Kara^rjo-eraL elf rrjv afiva-aov. The 
term a/3uo-croy, which is applicable to the deep places 
of the Earth, and to the depth of the Sea, with equal 
propriety ; (being a more indifferent term even than 
our own expression "the deep"); affords a memo- 
rable example of the fulness and pregnancy of lan- 
guage on inspired lips. Adhering to the letter of 
the text he quotes, the Apostle, by changing the word 
expressive of that literal sense, embraces the whole 
spiritual breadth and fulness of the passage: re- 
minding us of Him, by the blood of whose covenant 

* St. Matth. xii. 20. 


were sent forth, the prisoners of hope out of the pit 
wherein is no water s , even before he names Him ; 

I must also remind you, that there are many ex- 
pressions used by our LORD, or used concerning Him 
by His Apostles, which help to shew, that, to have 
come down from Heaven, and to have been brought 
up from the deep of the Earth again, may be re- 
garded as the mysterious summary of the SAVIOUR'S 
Mission*. "No man hath ascended up to Heaven," 
(saith our LORD,) "but He that came down from Hea- 
ven 11 ." "I am the living Bread which came down 
from Heaven. . . . Doth this offend you? What and 
if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He 
was before*?" In another place, "I came forth 
from the FATHER and am come into the "World : again 
I leave the World, and go to the FATHER y ." But the 
most remarkable place remains : " Now, that He as- 
cended, what is it but that He also descended first into 
the lowest parts of the Earth ? He that descended, is 
the same also that ascended up far above all Heavens V 
I say, this brief summary, given by CHRIST Himself, 
or by those who had seen Him, of the mystery of 
His manifestation in the flesh, throws light on the 
language of the Hebrew lawgiver. It shews that 
the language of Moses to Israel, in the plains of 
Moab, fairly embraced the two great truths which 
Faith even now can but be exhorted to lay fast hold 
upon, and to appropriate : "If thou shalt confess 
with thy mouth that JESUS is the LORD," that is, 
confess that the man Jesus is the uncreated, Incarnate 

B Zech. ix. 11. * Consider Ps. cxxxix. 7. Amos ix. 2, 3. 

u St. John iii. 13. , * Ibid. vi. 33, 38, 51, 62. 

y Ibid. xvi. 28. * Ephes. iv. 9, 10. 


JEHOVAH ; " and believe with thy heart that GOD 
raised Him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved." 
.... Such is the form which the exhortation now as- 
sumes. More darkly, of old time, (as was fitting,) 
was the same thing spoken : and, because reference 
was then made to an event not yet accomplished, the 
impatience of Unbelief is there repressed, rather 
than the ardour of Faith stimulated. " Say not in 
thy heart who shall ascend into Heaven ? or, who 
shall go down into the deep place?" .... But shall 
we deal so faithlessly with the Divine Oracles of the 
Old Testament, as to deny them the deeper meaning 
assigned to them in the New, because they speak 
darkly ? Let us, from a review of all that has been 
humbly offered, let us at least admit that there is 
good independent ground for believing that when 
Moses spake of ascending into Heaven, it was with 
reference to the future coming of CHRIST : when he 
made mention of descending into the Deep, the 
Eesurrection of the SAVIOUR of the World was, in 
reality, the thing he spake of. Let us allow that 
here, at least, there is nothing in the language of the 
New Testament, which, when studied by the light 
of unassisted Eeason, does not appear to have been 
fully included, contemplated, intended by the lan- 
guage of the Old: that the accommodation has not 
been arbitrary; say rather, that here at least there 
has been no accommodation at all ! 

But I am impatient to leave this low rationalistic 
ground, and take my stand again, on the vantage 
ground of Faith. The position, I trust, has been 
established, that even in the case of words which 
seem least promising, least likely to enfold the 
deeply mysterious meaning claimed for them by an 


Apostle, the result of patient inquiry and research is 
to shew that such a meaning really does exist there, 
to the fullest extent. We have discovered, from mere 
grounds of Eeason, apart from Kevelation, that what 
St. Paul has cited in this place from Deuteronomy, 
may very well contain all that he says it contains. 
But, were nothing of the kind discoverable ; were it 
a most hopeless endeavour to reconcile the meaning 
evolved by the inspired Apostle, with the text he 
professes to interpret, the claims of the sacred exe- 
gesis would remain wholly unimpaired. We should 
still say that this, because it is an inspired Com- 
mentary, is entitled to our fullest acceptance. We 
have, anyhow, the HOLY SPIRIT interpreting Himself. 
He surely must be the best judge of His own Divine 
meaning. He does but enrich the Treasury of Truth, 
even by His apparent departures from the original 
Hebrew verity. Shall not the HOLY GHOST, the Com- 
forter, be allowed to speak comfort to His people in 
whatever way seemeth best to Himself? Is it not 
lawful for Him to do what He will with His own ? 
Is thine eye evil, because He is very good ? 

Yes, it cannot be too emphatically insisted on, that 
the success which may attend investigations of this 
nature, is not to be admitted for a moment as the 
measure of the soundness of the principle on which 
they proceed. The reasoning whereby Newton shewed 
that the diamond is a combustible substance would 
have been no whit invalidated had the diamond re- 
sisted to this hour every chemical attempt to reduce 
it to carbon. We do not, (what need to say ?) we 
do not discourage the endeavour to enucleate the deep 
Christian significancy of passages for which Inspired 
writers claim such sublime meaning. Eather do we 


think that Human Eeason could not find a worthier 
field for the employment of her powers*, than this. 
But we are strenuous to insist that the full and suf- 
ficient, and only irrefragable proof that a mighty 
Christian meaning does actually underlie the un- 
promising utterance of one of GOD'S ancient Saints, 
is, that an Inspired Writer declares it to exist there. 

There is no accommodation therefore, when an in- 
spired writer adduces Scripture. Human language 
will sometimes require to be "accommodated:" Di- 
vine language, never ! May not the HOLY SPIRIT lay 
His finger on whatever parts of His ancient utterance 
He sees fit ? may He not invert clauses, and (in order 
to bring out His meaning better) even alter words ? 
If He tells thee that the prophetic allusion of Isaiah to 
"our griefs" and "our sorrows" comprehends "our 
infirmities" and "our sicknesses" in its span b , is 
it for thee to discredit His assertion ? If He is pleased 
to intimate that the providential arrangement whereby 
CHRIST, though born at Bethlehem, grew up at Naza- 
reth, had for its object the fulfilment of many a de- 
tached and seemingly disconnected prophecy c , shall 
the unexpectedness of His disclosure excite ridicule in 
such an one as thyself? When He tells thee that be- 
sides the immediate scope of certain well-known words 
of Hosea and of Jeremiah, there was the ulterior aim 
He indicates; if behind Israel after the flesh, He 
shews thee the Anointed SON d , if behind those cap- 
tive Jews of the tribe of Benjamin whom Nebuzar- 
Adan led past their mother's grave on their way to 
Babylon, He points to the slaughtered infant of Beth- 
lehem; assuring thee that when He spake by the 

See above, pp. 176-7. b St. Matth. viii. 17. 

c St. Matth. ii. 23. See above, p. 149. d Ibid. ii. 15. 


mouth of Jeremiah concerning the nearer event that 
remoter one was full before Him also ; and that the 
solemn and affecting utterance of the Prophet was 
divinely intended by Himself to cover both 6 ; wilt 
thou, when He discourses to thee thus, presume to 
talk to Him of "accommodation?" Is it not enough 
for thee to have cavilled at the first page of the Old 
Testament on "scientific" grounds? Must thou, for 
Theological considerations, dispute the first page of 
the New Testament also ? 

Scripture then, whether in its Historical or its more 
obviously prophetic parts, has this depth of meaning for 
which I have been contending. "We must perforce be- 
lieve it, for it is a matter of express Eevelation. "We 
cannot pretend to deny the probability, much less 
the possibility of it ; for we really can know nothing 
of the matter except from an attentive study of Scrip- 
ture itself. And the witness of Scripture, as we have 
seen, is ample, emphatic, and express. Our LORD, 
being indignantly asked by the Jews if He heard 
what the children, crying in the Temple, said of Him, 
made answer by quoting the 2nd verse of the viiith 
Psalm : " Yea, have ye never read, ' Out of the mouth 
of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise ' f ?" 
Pray was this " accommodation," or what was it? 
It was deemed a sufficient answer, at all events, by 
the Anointed JEHOVAH ; whatever men may think ! 
. . . When the Sadducees, disbelieving in the Eesurrec- 
tion of the Body, assailed our LORD with a speculative 
difficulty, He told them that they erred because they 
did not understand the Scriptures. " Now that the 
dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, 
when he calleth the LORD, the GOD of Abraham, and 
St. Matth. ii. 18. * Ibid. xxi. 16. 


the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob. For He is 
not a GOD of the dead, but of the living : for all live 
unto Him g ." How, by the popular method, how, 
by any of the new lights which have lately been let 
in on Holy Scripture, was the Eesurrection of the 
dead to have been proved by the words which the 
SECOND PERSON in the Trinity spake to Moses "in 
the Bush?" And yet we behold that same Divine 
Personage in the days of His humiliation, proposing 
from those words, uttered by Himself 1500 years be- 
fore, to establish the doctrine in dispute ! . . . . Only 
once more. " In the last day, that great day of the 
Feast [of Tabernacles,] JESUS stood and cried, saying, 
If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. 
He that belie veth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, 
* Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water 1 "! 7 " 
But where does the Scripture say that? You will 
look a long while to find it. You will never find it 
at all if you adhere to the method which of late has 
been declared to be the method most in fashion. 
You will never even understand what our Blessed 
LORD means, unless you attend to the hint which im- 
mediately follows, and which the Divine Author of 
the Gospel would not suffer us to be without, namely, 
that, " This spake He of the SPIRIT, which they that 
believe on Him should receive :" by which is meant, 
that as many of the Prophets as discoursed in dark 
phrase of that free outpouring of the SPIRIT which 
was to mark MESSIAH'S Beign, did, in effect, say the 
thing which He here attributes to them. 

Inspired Beasoning, wherever found, may fitly ob- 
tain a few words of distinct notice here ; but I shall 
perhaps speak more becomingly, as well as prove more 
* St. Luke xx. 37. h St. John vii. 37, 38. 


intelligible, if, (without further allusion to the say- 
ings of that Almighty One " in whom are hid all the 
treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge 1 ;" sayings which 
it seems a species of impiety to approach except in 
adoration ;) I confine my remarks to the logical pro- 
cesses observable in the inspired writings of some of 
His servants, the Evangelists and Apostles of THE 

The difficulty which has been occasionally felt in 
respect of the argumentative parts of St. Paul's Epi- 
stles, is considerable, and may not be overlooked. His 
definitions, his inferences, his entire method of hand- 
ling Scripture, gives offence to a certain class of minds. 
His reasoning seems inconsequential. There appears 
to be a want of logical order and consistency in much 
that he delivers. But, can it require to be stated ? 
the fault is entirely our own. " The radical fallacy 
of any attempt to analyze the reasoning of Scripture 
by the ordinary Laws of Logic" requires to be pointed 
out. And the root of it all is our assumption that an 
inspired Apostle must perforce argue like any other 
uninspired man. 

But, in the first place, it is to be recollected that he 
did not collect the meaning and bearing of the Old 
Testament Scriptures from induction, and study only. 
He was, by the hypothesis, an inspired Writer. The 
same HOLY SPIRIT who taught the authors of the Old 
Testament what to deliver, taught him, in turn, how 
to explain their words. By direct Eevelation, he per- 
ceived the intention of a text, and at once bore wit- 
ness to it. Thus St. Paul says of our LORD, " He is 
not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, i I will 
declare Thy Name unto My brethren, in the midst of 

1 Col. ii. 3. 


the Church will I sing praise unto Thee.' And again, 
I will put my trust in Him.' And again, ' Be- 
hold I and the children which GOD hath given MeV " 
Now, " the Apostles quoted such places as these from 
the Psalms and Isaiah, not as they were gathered by 
any certain reason, but as revealed to them by the 
HOLY SPIRIT, to be principally spoken of CHRIST. This 
understanding the mysteries of GOD in the Old Tes- 
tament, being a special gift of the HOLY GHOST \ of 
the truth of which interpretations, the same SPIRIT, 
without any necessary demonstration thereof, bore 
witness also to their auditors and converts; and by 
miracles manifested the persons thus expounding them 
herein to be infallible 111 ." 

To quote the language of a thoughtful writer of 
more recent date, " Inspired teaching, explain it 
how we may, seems comparatively indifferent to 
(what seems to us so peculiarly important) close lo- 
gical connexion, and the intellectual symmetry of doc- 
trines. ... The necessity of confuting gainsay ers, at 
times forced one of the greatest of CHRIST'S inspired 
servants, St. Paul, to prosecute continuous argument ; 
yet even with him, how abrupt are the transitions, 
how intricate the connexion, how much is conveyed 
by assumptions such as Inspiration alone can make, with- 
out any violation of the canons of reasoning, FOR 


may be said of some passages of St. John, supposed to 
have been similarly occasioned. Inspiration has ever 
left to human Keason the filling up of its outlines, the 

k Heb. ii. 12, 13; quoting Ps. xxi. 23 and Is. viii. 17. 
1 1 Cor. xii., xiii., xiv. 

m Pseudo-Pell's Paraphrase and Annotations on the New Tes- 
tament, (Jacobson's ed.), in loc. 


careful connexion of its more isolated truths. The 
two are, as the lightning of Heaven, brilliant, pene- 
trating, far-flashing, abrupt, compared with the 
feebler but continuous illumination of some earthly 

" In a train of inspired Beasoning," (as the same 
writer elsewhere remarks,) "each new premiss may 
have been supernaturally communicated ; and thus, in 
point of fact, the inspired reasoner but connects the 
different threads of the Divine Counsels ; exemplifies 
how 'deep answereth to deep' in the mysteries of 
Revelation; and presents, in one connected train of 
argument, those words of GOD which had been uttered 
1 at sundry times and in divers manners .' " 

To conclude. There is no such thing as incon- 
sequential Eeasoning to be met with in the writings 
of St. Paul p ; no such thing as arbitrary Accommo- 
dation of the Old Testament Scriptures, in the New : 
though not a few have thought it; and the lan- 
guage of many more writers, Papist as well as Pro- 
testant, is calculated to convey the same mischievous 
impression q . The hypothesis is as unworthy of our- 
selves, with our boasted critical resources and many 
appliances of varied learning, as it is derogatory to 
the Sacred Oracles to which it is applied. It is 
a deadly blow, aimed at the very Inspiration of Scrip- 
ture itself; for it pretends to discover a human element 
only, where we have a right to expect a Divine one : 
an irresponsible dictum, when we listened for the voice 
of the SPIRIT ; the hand of man, where we depended 
on finding the very Finger of GOD ! "We come to the 

n Professor Archer Butler, quoted in Professor Lee's Discourses 
on Inspiration, pp. 415-6. Ibid., p. 586. 

P See above, pp. 132-7. See the Appendix, (L). 


blessed pages, for Divinity, and we are put off with 
Ehetoric. We come for bread, and the critics we 
speak of offer us a stone. 

I will not detain you any longer. No apology can 
be needed for the subject which has been engaging our 
attention 1 . Those who watch " the signs of the times" 
attentively, will bear me witness that unbelief is one 
fearful note of the coming age. The self-same prin- 
ciple, working in different classes of minds, produces 
results diametrically different : but it is still the 
same principle which is at work. Unbelief is no less 
the cause why so many have forsaken the Church of 
their Fathers, to run after the blasphemous fables and 
dangerous deceits of the Church of Borne, than it is 
the parent of that shallow Eationalism which unhap- 
pily is now so popular among us. ... Intimations of 
what is to be hereafter, may be every now and then 
detected. At intervals, hoarse sounds, from a distance, 
are known to smite upon the listening ear ; signals of 
the coming danger, sure harbingers of the approach- 
ing storm. Holy Scripture is the stronghold against 
which the Enemy will make his assault, assuredly: 
nor can we employ ourselves better than by building 
one another up in reverence for its Inspired Oracles : 
opposing to the crafts of the Evil One the simplicity 
of a child-like faith; and resolutely refusing to see 
less than GOD, in GOD'S Word ! 

This must be the preacher's apology for disputing 
where he would rather adore ; for discussing the Be- 
velations of Scripture, instead of feeding upon them ; 
especially at this holy Season when the Apostle's ex- 

' In the earlier part of the present Sermon many passages have 
been re- written. What follows stands exactly as it was preached 
in 1851, 


hortation finds an echo in all our services : the 
mouth, engaged in the constant confession that JESUS 
is the LORD, the heart, filled with the thought of 
Him, who as at this time died for our sins, and rose 
again for our Justification. 

GOD grant us grace, at this and every other time, 
so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, 
that we may always serve Him in pureness of living 
and truth : through the merits of the same His SON, 





ST. MARK xii. 24. 

Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, 
neither the power of GOD. 

ON a certain occasion, the Son of Man was asked 
what was thought a hard question by those who, 
in His day, professed " the negative Theology V 
There was a moral and there was physical marvel 
to be solved. Both difficulties were met by a single 
sentence. The Sadducean judgment had gone astray 
from the Truth, (irXavaa-Oe our SAVIOUR said,) from a 
twofold cause: (1) The men did not understand those 
very Scriptures to which they appealed so confidently : 
and, (2) They had an unworthy notion of GOD'S power. 
There are plenty of Sadducees at the present day 
among ourselves. They are as fond as ever of finding 
difficulties in the self-same Scriptures. They are to be 
met, I am persuaded, exactly as of old ; by shewing 
that their error is still the fruit of their ignorance of 
Scripture; the consequence of their unworthy con- 
ceptions of GOD. I propose to illustrate this on the 
present occasion. My subject, (one certainly not un- 

a Preached at St. Mary-the- Virgin, Whit-Sunday, May 19th, 1861. 
b Acts xxiii. 8. For the phrase in the text, see Essays and 
Reviews, p. 151. Also p. 174. 


suited to the day,) is the Marvels of Scripture, whe- 
ther Moral or Physical. I would fain have discussed 
them apart ; but I shall not have another opportunity. 
I must handle the whole subject therefore within the 
limits of a single Sermon : and by consequence I must 
be extremely brief. 

Now, I venture to assume that whatever, from its 
extraordinary character, perplexes us in Scripture, is 
a difficulty only to ourselves ; that moral Marvels and 
physical Miracles, alike, would cease to create any 
difficulty if we knew more about GOD. The Morality 
of the Life to come, I do believe will prove none other 
than the Morality of the life which now is ; and so 
I presume that it may be their Divine Author's will, 
that the physical Laws of the Universe shall be eternal 
likewise. And yet, as no thoughtful man will pro- 
bably be found to say that he thinks he knows as 
much about the nature of these last now, as he ex- 
pects to know hereafter, so it is to be presumed that 
a sublimer, and therefore a juster view of the relation 
in which the Creature stands to the CREATOR, will dis- 
close to us much which, at present, we should be little 
prepared to admit, if it were speculatively presented 
to us, ("as in a glass, darkly,") respecting the Moral 
Government of GOD. 

I. In the very fore-front, however, of what I have 
to say concerning those phenomena which are gene- 
rally cited as the Moral Marvels of Holy Scripture, I 
must freely declare my opinion that nothing is wanted 
but that the whole of the historical evidence should be 
before us, in every case, in order that we might cease 
to look upon them as marvels at all. But so it is, 
that Scripture is severely brief: takes no pains to 
conciliate our good opinion : seems to care nothing 


either for our applause or our censure. Scripture, 
in short, has been made an instrument of Man's pro- 
bation b . It is for us to search curiously into the 
record ; to take an enlarged view of times and man- 
ners ; and finally, in the exercise of a generous Faith, 
to decide whether the difficulty is such as ought to 
occasion us any real distress. I proceed, in this spirit, 
to consider, as briefly as possible, the history of Jael ; 
simply because I have heard stronger things said 
against her, than against any of the Worthies of old 
time who are mentioned with distinct approbation in 
the Book of Life. 

1. Now, if you choose to consider Jael as one who 
lured a weary and unsuspecting soldier into her tent, 
shewed him hospitality, and when he was asleep, 
murdered him in cold blood, you certainly cannot 
help recoiling from the inspired decision that, " Blessed 
above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite 
be.' 7 But I take the liberty of saying that this is 
quite the wrong way to read her story. You must 
begin it from the other end. 

GOD pronounces this woman blessed, and distinctly 
commends her for her deed. From this point you 
must start ; remembering that no action CAN be immoral 
which GOD praises. The Divine sentence, instead of 
creating a difficulty, is, on the contrary, exactly the 
thing which removes it c . To weigh the story apart 
from this, (which is the prime consideration of all,) is 
like condemning the immorality of an executioner 
without caring to hear that he is but carrying out the 

b See the Appendix (C). 

e Should one not as readily acknowledge a hint which was 
gathered from the conversation of the thoughtful Vicar of Stanford- 
in-the-Vale, as if it had been derived from some of his published 
writings ? 


sentence of the Lawgiver. Furnished with the clue of 
GOD'S approbation of Jael's deed, we retrace our steps, 
and reconsider the narrative. If all were still dark 
and hopeless, we might be sure that there are circum- 
stances withheld, which if known would have made 
GOD'S justice clear as the light. But, as a matter 
of fact, it generally happens that, when we "know 
the Scriptures," the difficulty in great measure dis- 
appears ; and I am going to shew that it is so on the 
present occasion. 

I find that when the people of GOD were on their 
way out of Egypt into Canaan, they were indebted to 
one family (the Kenites) for kindness and help d . The 
head of that family was Jethro, the father-in-law of 
Moses, high-priest of Midian, in which land the 
LORD, from the burning bush, had commissioned the 
future Lawgiver of Israel to redeem His people from 
the bondage of Egypt. Jethro met them in the 
Arabian desert ; became their guide e till they reached 
the promised Land ; and with them entered the borders 
of their future possession. It was a covenant between 
the two races that they should share the goodness of 
JEHOVAH. Accordingly, the Kenites made their set- 
tlement amid the Royal tribe of Judah ; and it is easy 
to foresee how close a bond would spring up between 
the alien family and their avowed protectors, when, 
to the memory of past dangers shared together, was 
superadded the consciousness of present blessings ; 
especially in an age when the law of hospitality was 
held most sacred. How strong the bond became, the 
sequel of the story convincingly shews f . 

^ d 1 Sam. xv. 6. e Numb. x. 2932. 

A hint has here been taken from one of Dr. "W. H. Mill's ad- 
mirable University Sermons, pp. 239-40, 


The children of Israel, at the end of a hundred and 
fifty years, find themselves cruelly oppressed by the 
most powerful of the Kings of the conquered but not 
extirpated race. GOD promises deliverance : and De- 
borah is raised up to organize the resistance against 
Jabin, " the captain of whose host was Sisera." Now, 
while Heber the Kenite is gone with the rest to the 
battle, (for he had pitched his tent, remember, by 
Kedesh ; and it was from Kedesh g that Deborah " sent 
and called Barak the son of Abinoam ;") while Heber, 
the husband, I say, is gone to the battle, and Jael the 
wife is left alone, distracted with anxiety, in the tent ; 
when, weak and unprotected woman as she is, she 
beholds the Captain of the hateful oppressor of GOD'S 
people hastening to her tent, slumbering at her feet, 
and unexpectedly within her power: will you pre- 
tend that she, a Midianitess, is to blame if she yields 
to the strong impulse which prompts her to compass 
the man's downfall, as speedily as she may ? " There 
was peace between Jabin the King of Hazor and the 
house of Heber the Kenite h ," you will remind me. 
True : (between Jcibin, not between Sisera, by the 
way :) without this, the whole incident would not have 
happened. Sisera presumed on the peaceful rela- 
tions which existed between his lord and Heber ; and 
supposed that the sympathy of one alien race for an- 
other was to outweigh every other consideration. Yet, 
how stood the case? Heber had thrown in his lot, 
irrevocably, with the people of GOD; while Jabin 
had already utterly violated the conditions of peace. 
For twenty weary years, had Jael and her family 
shared the hardships of that sacred line which Jabin 
had " mightily oppressed." All her life long 1 , the 

e Judges iv. 6. h Ibid. iv. 17. l Ibid. v. 6. 



highways have been unoccupied ; and travellers have 
had to walk through by-ways ; and the villages have 
been deserted by their inhabitants. Archers have in- 
fested the very places of drawing water k . Meanwhile, 
a sure word has gone forth from the Prophetess who 
dwells under the palm-tree between Eamah and Bethel 
on Mount Ephraim \ to the effect that GOD will give 
a mighty victory this day to His people m . Moreover, 
Deborah, (to whom the children of Israel go up for 
judgment,) has foretold that the LORD will " sell Sisera 
into the hand of a woman n " How can you marvel at 
the rest ! . . . "With a faith strong and undoubting as 
Bahab's, Jael, weak woman as she is, seizes the 
wooden tent-pin and the mallet, (the only weapons 
which are within her reach !) ; and, (somewhat as 
David afterwards employed a stone and a sling for the 
slaughter of the ^Philistine,) with these vile instru- 
ments, at one blow, she smites to the earth the enemy 
of GOD'S people. ... 0, it was not because she was 
treacherous, or because she was cruel ! Treachery and 
cruelty were not the vices to which a dweller in tents 
(and she a woman !) was prone, when a thirsty soldier 
begged a draught of water ; and most assuredly, had 
she been either, she would not, she could not, have 
won praise from GOD ! (Witness GOD'S wrath against 
David in the matter of Uriah, because he had no 
pity ; as well as dying Jacob's denunciations against 
Simeon and Levi because " instruments of cruelty" 
were " in their habitations p .") no ! It was because 
she beheld in the slumbering captain at once the 
enemy of her own afflicted race, and of GOD'S op- 
pressed people, and above all of GOD Himself. That 

v. 6, 7, 11. > Ibid. iv. 4, 5. m Ibid. v. 7. 

Ibid. v. 5 and 9. 1 Sam. xii. * Gen. xlix. 5. 


was why " she put her hand to the nail, and her right 
hand to the workman's hammer !" . . . The fight, you 
are requested to remember, had been a tremendous 
fight ; and the battle, as she thought, was yet raging. 
Eeuben, and Dan, and Asher had kept aloof from the 
encounter; the first, in his rich pasture-land east 
of the Jordan, abiding " among the sheepfolds, to hear 
the bleatings of the flocks ;" the two others, intent on 
their maritime pursuits. Only some of Ephraim, Ben- 
jamin, and Manasseh q , had been found willing to 
throw in their lot with the two northern tribes of 
Zebulun, and Naphtali, who had " jeoparded their 
lives unto the death." And the battle which these 
had fought had been the LORD'S ; and as many as had 
taken part with them, were considered to have come 
" to the help of the LOUD" Such then was the quarrel 
which Jael had made her own; and such the spirit 
in which she had done her wild deed of unassisted 
prowess ! 

To appreciate her constancy and courage, you may 
not overlook how fearful were the odds against the 
cause she was espousing : on the oppressor's side, nine 
hundred chariots of iron ; whereas, " was there a shield 
or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?" It 
had been so terrific a day, that if the LORD had not been 
on their side, if the stars in their courses had not 
fought for Israel, how could Sisera have possibly been 
overcome ? But the very river was employed to sweep 
the enemies of Israel away, " that ancient river, 
the river Kishon !" . . . Now I boldly ask you, if the 
Angel of the LORD may curse bitterly the inhabitants 
of Meroz, " because they came not to the help of the 

q Comp. Judges v. 14, 17, with Numb, xxxii. 39, 40, and Josh, 
xiii. 31. Consider Ps. Ixxx. 2. 



LORD," (pray mark that phrase ; for it shews exactly 
in what light the conflict was regarded !) " to the 
help of the LORD against the mighty ;" shall we wonder 
if, by the Spirit of GOD, Deborah the prophetess pro- 
claims " blessed above women in the tent" Jael the 
wife of Heber the Kenite to be ; the undaunted one 
by whose right hand the captain of all that mighty 
host had been slain ? Find me another " woman in the 
tent" who may be compared with her / ... Or rather, 
(for that is the only question,) shall these words em- 
bolden us to impeach the morality of Holy Writ ? . . . 
I am sure there is not one of you all who really thinks 
it. She was was she not ? a courageous, a faithful, 
and (according to her light,) a strictly virtuous woman. 
She was content to risk all, " as seeing Him who is 
invisible:" and to believe that "they that be with us 
are more than they that be with themV From the 
unmistakeable evidence of her uncompromising bold- 
ness in a good cause, her unwavering faith, her readi- 
ness to cast in her lot with the people of GOD, no 
one but a hypocrite will turn away to criticize the 
details of her deed by the Gospel standard of Grace 
and Truth. " He asked for water, and she gave him 
milk." What would you have had her do ? It is by 
no means certain that she foresaw the deed which was 
to follow, and which cannot, (from the nature of the 
case,) have been the result of a preconcerted plan. 
The impulse to terminate the tyranny of Canaan, and 
the sufferings of her adopted people, as well as to 
decide the fortune of that critical day, by slaying one 
whom she regarded as the enemy of GOD Himself, may 
have seized her while she stood in the door of the tent, 
weighing Sisera's petition against Deborah's pro- 

r 2 Kings vi. 16. 


phecy. Be this as it may, would you have had the 
woman connive at Sisera's escape, the enemy of 
GOD'S people, when GOD Himself had unexpectedly 
put him into her power ? 

It will assist us to understand this story, that we 
should bear in mind how it fared with Ahab, King of 
Israel, in the matter of Ben-hadad, King of Syria, as 
recorded in the xxth chapter of the First Book of 
Kings, " Thus saith the LORD," (was the Divine sen- 
tence,) " Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man 
whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life 
shall go for his life, and thy people for his people 8 ." 
It is quite evident that as the enemy of GOD, in the 
strictest sense, each fresh oppressor of Israel was re- 
garded ; and that, as the enemy of the LORD GOD of 
Israel, Sisera was summarily slain by the Kenite's 

Be so good as to remember also, that forgiveness of 
enemies is strictly a Christian duty. You have no 
right to expect to find the brightest jewels of the 
kingdom of Heaven glittering on the swarthy brow of 
an Arabian wife in the days of the Judges. " Grace 
and Truth came by JESUS CHRIST V You cannot ex- 
pect to find the wife of Heber the Kenite more truth- 
ful than Sarah, and Eebekah, and Kachel, or even 
than Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David: 
neither should you be so unreasonable as to expect 
that the GOD of Truth will award praise and blame 
to His creatures by a higher standard of Morality than 
He has seen fit, at any given period, to allow. A per- 
fectly enlightened conscience, no doubt, will never 
consent to lie. A Christian woman in JaeFs place, 
ought not, of course, to be guilty of JaePs deed. But 

1 Kings xx. 42. * St. John i. 17. 


you are forgetting the time of the world in which your 
lot is thrown. I say nothing of the circumstances of 
terror under which she acted, she was forced to act. 
How could she tell that Sisera would not awake ere 
she should strike the blow, or at least before she 
could achieve his death? What if a company of 
Jabin's host should come up to the tent-door, the in- 
stant she had done the deed, and inquire after Sisera ? 
Suppose the issue of that day's encounter should prove 
disastrous, what would be her own and Heber's fate ? 
. . . Peel a little for the poor wife, for the lonely, 
helpless "woman in the tent,' 7 not entirely for the 
fierce soldier against whom you have heard the LORD'S 
decree of death ! . . . O ye, who, living in the full 
blaze of Gospel light, in cold blood can reject the doc- 
trine of the Atonement, and deny the LORD who 
bought you, and teach that the Bible is "like any 
other book ;" who can make light of its Inspiration, 
and evacuate its Prophecy, and idealize its Miracles ; 
who with your lips can profess the Church's doctrines, 
and with your pens can deny them ; go ye and prate 
of Morality, and Honesty, and Truth ! We shall heed 
mighty little your opinion of Jael's conduct, and of the 
Divine Commendation which it met with. I believe 
that, instead of suspecting the morality of the Bible 
in this instance, there is hardly an honest Christian 
heart among us, but cries out, on the contrary, " So 
let all Thine enemies perish, O LORD ! But let them 
that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in 
his might." 

2. There is no time to consider, as I fain would, any 
other story ; that of Jacob for example. It is quite 
amazing to hear the presumptuous speeches concerning 
that great Saint, in which good men sometimes permit 


themselves : as if tlie sum total of Jacob's history were 
this : that he once obtained an ungenerous advantage 
over his Brother, and then shamefully deceived his 
blind and aged Father. Whereas those were the two 
great blots in an otherwise holy life ! actions which were 
followed by severe, aye lifelong punishment. But I 
must not enter on Jacob's history, even to shew you 
that a careless reader overlooks certain circumstances 
which go a very long way indeed to excuse the actions 
just alluded to. I prefer reminding you that since, at 
Bethel, GOD blessed the exile's slumbers with a glo- 
rious vision, and most comfortable promise, on his first 
setting out for Haran ; and again at Jabbok, as well 
as at Mahanaim, blessed him with a vision of Angels, 
and a renewal of the blessing, on his return ; from this 
point, as before, it will be our wisdom to reason ; and 
we shall reason backwards. Had Scripture been quite 
silent in all other respects, such proofs of the Divine 
approval ought to be enough to convince a believing 
heart that the only thing wanting must be fuller de- 
tails, more evidence, in order to shew us that the 
Patriarch deserved the SPIRIT'S praise. But in truth, 
in Jacob's case, the details are abundant and the 
evidence decisive. 

3. Of all the other (so called) difficulties which occur 
to my memory, as the extinction of the Canaanites, 
(who yet were not extinguished,) the Sacrifice of 
Isaac, (who yet was not sacrificed,) the life of David ; 
I have only to say that before you can pretend to 
have an opinion upon the subject you must be sure that 
you "know the Scriptures :" else, I make bold to say, 
you will inevitably err in your cogitations concerning 
them. Thus, men are heard to insinuate astonish- 
ment that the King who so basely compassed Uriah's 


death should have been "a man after GOD'S own 
heart :" whereas the Hebrew original, (as they would 
know, if they knew the Scriptures ,) conveys nothing of 
the kind ; while the murder of Uriah is found to have 
drawn down upon David unmitigated wrath and ter- 
rible punishment from the right Hand of Him who 
is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. 

II. Turn we now, briefly, to the physical Marvels 
which are described in the Bible; and chiefly those 
which occur in the Old Testament. 

I am about to speak of Miracles in general; but 
it may be convenient to say a few words first about 
certain mighty transactions which eclipse, by their 
vastness or their strangeness, most isolated events. 
Thus, as the Nativity, Temptation, Transfiguration, 
Resurrection, Ascension, of our LORD, together with 
the Coming of the HOLY GHOST, eclipse in a manner 
the other Miracles of the New Testament, so the 
Temptation of our first Parents, the Flood, the de- 
struction of Sodom and the fate of Lot's wife, the 
burning bush, the Plagues which prepared the way 
for the Exode, the crossing of the Eed Sea, the 
Manna, and the brazen Serpent; Balaam's ass, and 
the fate of the walls of Jericho ; the history of Jonah, 
and of Daniel among the lions: events like these 
stand out from the Old Testament narrative and chal- 
lenge astonishment. 

Of all these latter events, viewed as difficulties, 
(for it is as difficulties in the way of Revelation that we 
are now expected to look on Miracles,) you are re- 
quested to observe that they enjoy, one and all, the 
confirmation of express citation in the Neiv Testament. 
I am saying that either St. Paul, or St. Peter, or 
St. James, or (above all) our Blessed LORD Himself, 


appeal to, or else explain, every one of these marvel- 
lous passages in Old Testament History. And this is 
the only remark I propose to offer concerning any of 
them. It will certainly prove unavailing to convince 
a certain class of persons of the historical reality of 
the Deluge, to find that our SAVIOUE, that St. Peter, 
and St. Paul, have all spoken of it as an actual event : 
Men who are disposed to reject the story of the dumb 
ass speaking with man's voice, will not perhaps be- 
lieve it one whit the more because they find it ap- 
pealed to by St. Peter u : and the Divine exposition 
offered by CHRIST Himself of Jonah, three days and 
three nights in the fish's belly, will not, it may be 
feared, reconcile others to an event which strikes 
them as being too improbable to be true. But this, 
at least, will infallibly result from the discovery : 
men will perceive that they must positively make 
their election ; and either accept the Bible as a whole, 
or else reject it as a whole ; for that there is no middle 
course open to them. The New Testament stands 
committed irrevocably to the Old. Every Book of the 
Bible stands committed to all the other Books. Not 
only does our LORD quote the Canon in its collected 
form, and call it " the Law and the prophets," or 
simply 77 yptt^ 7 ?? " the Scripture," and so set His seal 
upon it, as one undivided and indivisible roll of In- 
spiration; but He and His Apostles single out the 
very narratives which the imbecility of Man was 
most likely to stumble at, and employ them for such 
purposes, and in such a manner, that escape from 
them shall henceforth be altogether hopeless. To 
eliminate the marvels of Scripture, I say, is impos- 
sible; for a Divine Hand has been laid upon almost 
u 2 St. Peter ii. 16. 


every one of them. The subsequent references are 
not only most numerous, but they run into the very 
staple of the narrative, and will not, cannot be 

I question whether all students of the inspired page 
are aware of the extent to which what I have been 
saying holds true. Let me only invite you to in- 
vestigate the structure of the Bible under this aspect, 
and you will be astonished at the result. For you 
will find that the system of tacit quotation and allu- 
sive reference is so perpetual, that it is as if the design 
had been that the fibres should be incapable of being 
disentangled any more. Balaam's story for example 
in the Book of Numbers, is found alluded to in 
Deuteronomy, in Joshua, in Micah, in ISTehemiah ; by 
St. Peter, by St. Jude, and by St. John in the Apo- 
calypse x . The Exodus, with its attendant wonders, 
is alluded to in Joshua, and in Judges, and in Job, 
and in the Psalms ; in Amos, and Isaiah, and Micah, 
and Hosea, and Jeremiah, and Daniel; in Kings, in 
Samuel, in Nehemiah; and in the New Testament 
repeatedly y . The Evangelists quote one another times 
without number. In the Epistles, the Gospels are 
quoted upwards of fifty times ; and St. Peter quotes 
St. Paul again and again. It is a favourite device of 

x Numb, xxii., xxiii., xxiv., xxv., xxxi. 8 and 16. Joshua xxiv. 

9, 10 : xiii. 22. Micah vi. 5. Nehem. xiii. 1, 2 (quoting Deut. 
xxiii. 3, 4.) 2 St. Peter ii. 1416. St. Jude ver. 11. Rev. ii. 14. 

y Exod. xiv. 19 31, &c. is thus referred to in Josh. ii. 10: iv. 
23. Judges v. 4, 5. Job xxvi. 12. Ps. Ixxiv. 13: cvi. 711: 
exiv. 1 8: Ixxvii. 14 20: Ixvi. 6: Ixxviii. 12 31. Amos ii. 

10. Hos. xii. 13. Is. Ixiii. 1113: xliii. 16: Ii. 9, 10, 15. 
Micah vi. 4 5. Jer. ii. 6: xxxii. 20-1. Dan. ix. 15. 2 Sam. 
vii. 23. 2 Kings xvii. 7. Neh. ix. 921. Acts vii. 3041. 
1 Cor. x. 111. 2 Tim. iii. 8. Hebr. xi. 29. Rev. xv. 3. 


these last days to hint at the allegorical character of 
the beginning of Genesis. But I find upwards of 
thirty references in the New Testament to the first 
two Chapters of Genesis z . Certain parts of Daniel 
have incurred suspicion, for no better reason, as it 
seems, than because certain persons have found it 
hard to believe that Prophecy can be "an anticipation 
of History a ." Now it is strange certainly to find 

z Gen. i. 1, (Heb. xi. 3 :) 3, (2 Cor. iv. 6 :) 5, (1 Thess. v. 5 :) 
6, 9, (2 St.Pet. iii. 5 :) 11, 12, (1 St. John iii. 9 :) 14, (Phil. ii. 15 : 
Eev. xxi. 11 :) 24, (Acts x. 12 : xi. 6 :) 26, (St. James iii. 9 :) 26, 
27, (Col. iii. 10:) 27, (1 Cor. xi. 7: St. Matth. xix. 4: St. Mark 
x. 6 :) 28, (Ps. viii. 6 8, commented on in Heb. ii. 5 9 : 1 Cor. 
xv. 25 : Eph. i. 22.) Gen. ii. 2, (Heb. iv. 4, 10 :) 7, (1 Cor. xv. 
45, 47:) 9, (Eev. ii. 7: xxii. 2, 14, 19:) 18, (1 Cor. xi. 9:) 22, 
(1 Tim. ii. 13 :) 23, (Eph. v. 30 :) 24, (Eph. v. 31 : St. Matth. xix. 
5 : St. Mark x. 7 : 1 Cor. vi. 16 :) &c. 

a " It is a very misleading notion of Prophecy," says Dr. Arnold, 
(a writer to whom, more than to any other person, I conceive that 
we are indebted for " Essays and Reviews ;" that unhappy produc- 
tion being the lawful development and inevitable result of the late 
Head-master of Rugby's most unsound and mischievous religious 
teaching:) "It is a very misleading notion of Prophecy, if we 
regard it as an anticipation of History." (Sermons, i. p. 375.) 
" I think that, with the exception of those prophecies which relate 
to our LOED, the object of Prophecy is rather to delineate prin- 
ciples and states of opinion which shall come, than external events. 
I grant that Daniel seems to furnish an exception" (Life and 
Correspondence, p. 59.) This was written in 1825. In 1840, we 
are informed : " The latter chapters of Daniel, if genuine, would 
be a clear exception to my Canon of Interpretation. . . . But I have 
long thought that the greater part of the Book of Daniel is most 
certainly a very late work, of the time of the Maccabees ; and the 
pretended prophecy about the Kings of Grecia and Persia, and of 
the North and South, is mere history, like the poetical prophecies in 
Virgil and elsewhere. . . . That there may be genuine fragments in 
it, is very likely." (Ibid., p. 505.) In other words, Dr. Arnold, 
rather than suppose "my Canon of Interpretation" (!) worthless, 


a thing objected to for being what it is : and " Pro- 
phecy is nothing but the history of events before they 
come to pass," as Butler remarked long ago b . Waiv- 
ing this, however, you are requested to observe that 
our SAVIOUR quotes from those very parts of Daniel 
which have been objected to. You cannot get rid of 
those parts of Daniel therefore. You are not to sup- 
pose that the Bible is like an old house, where a 
window may be darkened, or a door blocked up, ac- 
cording to the caprice of every fresh occupant. The 
terms on which men dwell there are that every part 
of the structure shall be inhabited; and that every 
part shall be retained in its integrity. What I am 
insisting upon is, that the sacred Writers plainly say, 
We stand or we fall together. They reach forth 
their hands, and they hold one another fast. They 
rehearse comprehensive Genealogies, they furnish 
a summary view of long histories, they enumerate 
the various worthies of old time, and cite their deeds 
in order. They recognize one another's voices, and 
they interpret one another's thoughts, and they adopt 
one another's sayings. Yerily the Bible is not " like 
any other Book!" The prophets and Apostles and 
Evangelists of either covenant reach out one to an- 
other ; and lo, among them is seen the form of One 
like the SON of GOD. . . . How far it may be rational 
to reject the Bible, I will not now discuss : but it is 
demonstrable that a man cannot accept the Bible, and 
straightway propose to omit from it one jot or one 
tittle of its contents. As for abstracting from Scripture 

is prepared to eject the Book of Daniel from the Inspired Canon. 
Any thing is " very likely," in short, except that GOD could foretell 
future events, and Dr. Arnold be in error ! . . . *A/>' ofy vppts TaS' ; 
b Analogy, P. n. ch. yii. 


the marvels of Scripture, it is precisely for the protec- 
tion and preservation of them, as I have been shewing, 
that the most curious and abundant provision has 
been made. 

1. The miracles, properly so called, whether of the 
Old or New Testament, have lately been cavilled at 
with exceeding bitterness . That they are sufficiently 
attested, is allowed d ; the objection is a (so called) 
Philosophical one, and is briefly this, that the Laws 
of Nature being fixed and immutable, it is contrary 
not only to experience, but also to reason, to suppose 
that they have ever been suspended, or violated, or 
interrupted. Events " contrary to the order of Na- 
ture," events which would introduce " disorder" 
into Creation, are pronounced incredible. This is 
a very old objection ; but it has been lately revived. 
1 will dispose of it as briefly as I can. 

You are requested to observe then, that this diffi- 
culty, (such as it is,) is entirely occasioned by the 
terms in which it is stated. Who ever asserted that 
Miracles are " violations of natural causes 6 ?" " sus- 
pensions of natural laws f ?" Who ever said that the 
effect of Miracles is to " interrupt" " violate" " re- 
verse," the Laws of Nature? Why assume " con- 
trariety" and " disorder" in a Koa/Jios which seems to 
have had no experience of either ? 

c Throughout the volume entitled " Essays and Reviews;" while 
the third Essay is simply an affirmation of their impossibility. 

d And yet, Bp. Butler says, " The facts, both miraculous and 
natural, in Scripture, appear in all respects to stand upon the same 
foot of historical evidence :".... " and though testimony is no 
proof of enthusiastic opinions, or of any opinions at all ; yet, it is 
allowed, in all other cases, to be a proof of facts." Analogy, P. n. 
ch. vii. (ed. 1833, pp. 285 and 293.) 

e Essays and Reviews, p. 140. ' Tbid.^. 104. 


But GOD is, I suppose, superior to His own Laws ! 
He is not the creature of circumstances, even of His 
own creating. Supreme is He in Creation, albeit 
in a manner which baffles thought. He does not 
even suspend His Laws, perhaps, so much as fulfil 
them after a Diviner fashion ; somewhat as He was 
fulfilling the Mosaic Economy even while He seemed 
to be violating one or other of its sanctions. He does 
not reverse or disorder the fixed course of Nature, so 
much as rise above it, and shew Himself superior to 
it. He does not disturb anything, but our notions of 
His mode of acting. GOD coming suddenly to view 
in Nature, (which is an essential part of the notion of 
a miracle,) occasions perplexity, it is true; but only 
because we do not understand fully either Nature or 
GOD. " We know Him not as He is, neither indeed 
can know Him." While of Nature, we know nothing 
but a few Laws which we have discovered by a long 
and laborious induction of phenomena. In fact, this 
whole manner of speaking concerning the Creator of 
the Universe, with reference to the Laws which He 
is found to have prescribed to things natural, has, 
I suspect, some great foolishness in it : for, even if 
we do not so far dishonour GOD as to imagine that He 
is subject to Law, yet we seem to imply that we 
think ourselves capable of understanding the relation 
in which He stands to Law. Whereas, the very 
notion of Law may be utterly inapplicable to GOD, 
who is not only its first Author, (as He is indeed the 
first Author of all things,) but the very source and 
cause of it also. So that what are Laws to ourselves 
may be not so much as Law at all to GOD ; but, (if 
I may so speak,) something which depends on "the 
counsel of His will," and which, (considered as a re- 


straining cause,) is to Him as if it were not. There 
can be no miracles with GoD g ! 

Briefly then : That He who, (surely I may say 
confessedly,) is above Law, when He manifests Him- 
self in the midst of Creation, should act in a manner 
which defies conception ; and yet should disturb no- 
thing, reverse nothing, violate nothing; (except to 
be sure, possibly, certain preconceived notions of His 
rational creatures ;) in this, I say, there is surely 
nothing either incredible or absurd. 

2. So much, to say the truth, seems to be ad- 
mitted, by all but professed Atheists. But then, cer- 
tain formulae have been invented to bridge over the 
difficulty, which Miracles are supposed to occasion, 
which I cannot but think are just as objectionable as 
unbelief itself. 

By way of saving the credit of " the Laws of the 
Universe," a kind of compromise has been discovered ; 
to which I do not find that GOD has been made any 

The idea of Law, which has been falsely declared 
to be only now " emerging into supremacy in Science 11 ," 
seems to have usurped such a dominion over the 
minds of a few persons, superficially acquainted with 
Physical studies, that Miracles can be only tolerated 
on the supposition that they are " the exact fulfilment 
of much more extensive Laws than those we suppose 
to exist 1 ." We are kindly assured that what we call 
a Miracle is not " an exception to those laws which 

s There are some admirable observations on this subject in 
the ' Preliminary Essay' prefixed to Dean Trench's Notes on the 
Miracles. See pp. 10, 12, 15, 60, &c. 

h Dr. Temple. 

1 Mr. Babbage's Bridgewater Treatise, (2nd. Ed. 1838,) p. 92. 


we know, but really the fulfilment of a wider Law 
which we did not know beforeV Men are eager to 
remind us that this is the view of Bp. Butler 1 , (whom 
every one, I observe, is fond of having for an ally.) 
Thus, a very recent writer says, " What we call 
interferences may, (as Bp. Butler observed long ago,) 
be fulfilments of general laws not perfectly appre- 
hended by us m ." But I cannot find that Bp. Butler 
anywhere says anything of the sort. What Butler 
says, is, that we know nothing of the laws of storms 
and earthquakes, tempers and geniuses; yet we 
conclude, (but only from analogy,) that all these seem- 
ingly accidental things are the result of general laws. 
Now, (he proceeds,) since it is only "from our finding 
that the course of Nature, in some respects and so far, 
goes on by general laws, that we conclude this of the 
rest;" it is credible "that GOD'S miraculous interpo- 
sitions may have been, all along, in like manner, ly 
general laws OF WISDOM" Butler says that it " may 
have been ly general laws," "that the affairs of the 
world, being permitted to go on in their natural course 
so far, should, just at such a point, have a new direc- 
tion given them ly miraculous interposition^ He does 
not say, you observe, that those "miraculous inter- 
positions" are " the exact fulfilment of much more ex- 
tensive Laws than those we suppose to exist ;" (as if 
a larger induction were all that was needed, in order 

k " WTiy we should pray for Fair Weather : being Remarks on 
Professor Kingsley's Sermon," by a Member of the University [of 
Cambridge,] 12mo. Cambridge, 1860, p. 8. 

1 "The view taken of Miracles in chapter viii., is the same as 
that contained in the work of Butler, on the Analogy" &c. Bab- 
bage (as above), p. 191. 

m Edinburgh Iteview, for April 1861, p. 486. 


to get rid of the obnoxious word " Miracle :") not, 
that Miracles may be " fulfilments of general laws 
not perfectly apprehended ly us ;" (as if the only thing 
wanted, were an enlargement of the human formula, 
in order to bring a miraculous interposition within the 
definition of an extraordinary phenomenon.) Such 
notions belong altogether to the inventors of calculat- 
ing machines ; whose speculations, even concerning 
Divine things, clearly cannot soar above their instru- 
ment 11 . It is called the "argument from laws inter- 
mitting ;" and evidently reduces a miracle to a phe- 
nomenon of periodical recurrence. The aloe, watched 
for ninety-nine years and observed to blossom in the 
hundredth, is (according to this view) an emblem of 
the constitution of Nature at last interrupted by a 

I will not waste your time further with this view 
of the subject, having exposed its fallacy. Station 
yourself, in thought, at the grave of Lazarus; and 
see him that was dead and had been four days buried, 

n How exactly, in this instance, has Dr. "WhewelTs anticipation 
received fulfilment ! ; " We may, with the greatest propriety, 
deny to the mechanical Philosophers and Mathematicians of recent 
times any authority with regard to their views of the administra- 
tion of the Universe ; we have no reason whatever to expect from 
their speculations any help, when we ascend to the first Cause and 
supreme Ruler of the Universe. Eut we might perhaps go further, 
and assert that they are in some respects less likely than men em- 
ployed in other pursuits, to make any clear advance towards such 
a subject of speculation." (WhewelTs Bridgewater Treatise, 
p. 334.) Scarcely less acute is the remark which the late excellent 
Hugh James Rose has somewhere left on record, concerning the 
chapter wherein the preceding remark occurs, That the world 
would not easily forgive Dr. Whewell for those two chapters on 
" Inductive" and " Deductive Habits." 

Babbage (as before), p. 92, (heading of ch. viii.) 



come forth bound hand and foot with grave-clothes ; 
and then prate of any " general Laws," except those 
" OF WISDOM," to as many as you can get to listen to 
you. A "miraculous interposition," (as Butler phrases 
it,) has given a new direction to affairs which, so far, 
had been permitted to go in their natural course. 
That "general Laws" of inscrutable Wisdom deter- 
mined such a a miraculous interposition" is a position 
which, so far from objecting to, I embrace with both 
the arms of my heart p . 

3. Another favourite recipe there is for escaping 
from the bondage of Miracles, which is so childish, 
that it would seem scarcely to deserve notice: but 
that it has been largely resorted to by writers of whom 
the world thinks highly. These men, in a word, try to 
explain them away where they can : where they can- 
not, they pare them down as much as they are able, or 
rather as much as they dare. Demoniacal possession ? 
Symptoms like those described are known to accom- 
pany epilepsy. Manna ? Something like it falls in the 
wilderness of Sinai to this hour. The Eed Sea parted ? 
Well, but a strong East wind blew all night. Stilling 
the storm, and healing Peter's wife's mother ? Every 
storm is stilled if let alone; and a fever will burn 
out, often without occasioning death. The miraculous 
draught of fishes, and the stater in the fish's mouth ? 
.... but you can readily supply a suggestion for 

Now, two remarks present themselves on this kind 
of handling, which may be worth stating. (1) Those 
who so speak forget that the Devils are related to have 
conversed with CHRIST** : that the manna, (of which so 

p See the Analogy, P. n. ch. iv. sect. iii. 

q St. Mark i. 24. St. Luke iv. 34 : viii. 28, 3032, &c. &c. 


many miraculous properties are related 1 *,) fed 600,000 
men for forty years, and then suddenly ceased*: that 
the waters of the Eed Sea were a wall to the children 
of Israel, on their right hand and on their left* 1 : 
that when CHRIST said to the waves of the sea of 
Galilee "Peace, be still," "there was a great calm":" 
that Peter's wife's mother, cured of her fever, " rose 
and ministered unto," (that is " waited upon,") her 
Benefactor 1 . ... It is worse than absurd to explain 
away part of a miracle, with a view to getting rid of 
the whole of it : as if the essence of the miracle were 
not sure to reside in the residuum, in the very part 
which is left unaccounted for ! (2) But above all, 
what place have such explanations in the recorded 
cases of feeding the multitudes, opening the eyes of 
one born blind, and raising the dead? While you 
leave the chiefest miracles of the Gospel untouched, 
you may not flatter yourself that you have got at the 
kernel of the matter ; or indeed that the real question 
at issue has been touched by you, at all. 

4. There remains to notice one subtle and most 
treacherous method of dealing with the marvels of 
Scripture, (moral and physical alike,) to which I 
desire in conclusion to direct your special attention ; 
and which I would brand with burning words if I 
had them at command. I allude to what is called 
" IDEOLOGY," the plain English for which term is, 
a denial of the historical reality of Scripture. I will 
not waste time with inquiring whether this method is 
old or new. It is certainly much in fashion ; and it 

'Exod. xvi. 1821: 22 24: 25 27: 31: 33-34. Add 
Wisdom xvi. 20-1. 

Exod. xvi. 35, and Josh. v. 12. * Exod. xiv. 22, 29. 

u St. Matth. viii. 26. St. Mark iv. 39. * St. Matth. viii. 15. 



is certainly finding advocates in high quarters. I 
therefore make no apology for introducing the mon- 
strous thing to your notice. It requires, I should 
hope, only to be understood, to be rejected with un- 
qualified indignation. 

You and I, then, have been taught to believe that 
" the WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us," in 
the way St. Matthew and St. Luke describe : that our 
LORD was Baptized and Tempted of Satan; that He 
wrought Miracles, casting out Devils, and even raising 
the Dead ; that He was Transfigured on a mountain ; 
that He was Crucified, died, and was buried ; that He 
rose again the Third Day, ascended into Heaven, and 
at last, (as on this day,) sent down the PARACLETE to 
dwell with His Church for ever. All this, I say, you 
and I, with the whole Church Catholic for 1800 
years, have been taught to believe as plain historical 
truths, mere matters of fact; past telling wonderful 
indeed, but yet as historically true, as that I am stand- 
ing here and you are sitting- yonder, neither more 
nor less. 

But you are to understand that we, and all mankind 
with us, have been under a very curious delusion on 
this head. "We are assured that every one of these 
things, or at least that some of them, are only ideo- 
logically true : that Historically, they are false. In 
plain language, we are requested to believe that they 
never occurred at all. It is only a lively way of put- 
ting it, no more ! 

You will inevitably suppose that I must be trifling 
with you : I therefore proceed to give you a sample of 
this kind of teaching. A living dignitary of our Church 
writes as follows concerning the Transfiguration of 
CHRIST. " It may be asked, of what kind was the 


vision which we here call the Transfiguration ? Was 
it an effect produced within on the minds of the Apo- 
stles ; or was it that an actual external change came 
for the time over the person of our LORD ? "We cannot 
say." I give you this as the mildest form of the 
poison. Quite evident is it that the same suggestion 
is just as applicable to our LORD'S Birth, or to His 
Death; to His Temptation, .or to His Eesurrection. 
But to see whither all this tends, and what it really 
means, you must have recourse to the pages of a more 
advanced proficient in the Science of Ideology. He 
admits that its " application to the interpretation of 
Scripture, to the doctrines of Christianity, to the for- 
mularies of the Church, may undoubtedly be pushed 
so far as to leave in the sacred records no historical 
residue whatever. An example of the critical ideology 
carried to excess," (he says,) " resolves into an ideal" 
the whole of our LORD'S Life and Doctrine ; and " sub- 
stitutes a mere shadow for the JESUS of the Evangelists." 
But for all that, (says the writer I am quoting,) 
" there are traits in the Scriptural person of JESUS, 
which are better explained by referring them to an ideal 
than an historical origin : parts of Scripture are more 
usefully interpreted ideologically than in any other 
manner, as for instance, the history of the Tempta- 
tion by Satan, and accounts of Demoniacal possession." 
This writer, (who is a clergyman of the Church of 
England, and a Graduate in Divinity,) goes on to 
idealize the descent of Mankind from Adam and Eve, 
together with the chiefest marvels of the Old Testa- 
ment : insisting that " the force, grandeur, and reality 
of these ideas are not a whit impaired," although we 
discredit and reject the history, as history. So, our 
SAVIOUR, (he says,) " is none the less the Son of David, 


in idea and spiritually, even if it be unproved whether 
He were so in historic fact." "The spiritual signi- 
ficance is still the same," (he says,) "of the Trans- 
figuration, of opening blind eyes, of causing the tongue 
of the stammerer to speak plainly, of feeding mul- 
titudes with bread in the wilderness, of cleansing 
leprosy, whatever links may be deficient in the tra- 
ditional record of particular events." 

"Whatever links may be deficient !" that men 
would have the courage or the honesty to say what 
they mean ! "Why not say plainly, " however untrust- 
worthy we may account the narrative to be ?" And this 
writer cannot mean any other thing; for missing 
" links," assuredly, there are none. In truth this me- 
thod of wrapping up a monstrous abortion in " purple 
and fine linen," in order to make it look like " a proper 
child," is so much in vogue, that plain men are obliged 
first to translate a fallacy in order to understand it. 
Thus, a recent Apologist for the very writer I have 
been quoting, after surrendering the beginning of 
Genesis as " parabolic," (that is, not historically true,} 
is yet so obliging as to contend that " there still re- 
main events" in Scripture, our LORD'S Eesurrection 
to wit, "in which the garb of flesh," (pray mark 
the phraseology !) " in which the garb of flesh seems to 
be so indispensable a vehicle for the spirit within, that 
we can hardly conceive how the one could have sus- 
tained itself in the world, unless it had been from the 
beginning allied to the other 7 ." In plain English, 
the writer is so candid as to admit that if the Eesur- 
rection of our LORD JESUS CHRIST from death be a mere 
fabrication, in plain terms, a hoax practised upon the 

y Edinburgh Review, (art. on ' Essays and Eeviews/) April 
1861, p. 487. 


credulity of an unscientific age, it is hard to under- 
stand how it can have imposed upon mankind so com- 
pletely for the last eighteen hundred years. 

I will not insult the understanding of those who hear 
me so grossly as to suppose that dreams like these, 
(and really they are no more !) require answer or 
refutation. Such desperate shifts to elude the mean- 
ing of plain words, as the whole theory of Ideology 
discloses, would be even ludicrous, if the subject-mat- 
ter were not so very sacred and solemn. As in the 
case of certain acts of flagrant dishonesty which one 
sometimes reads of, one cannot forbear exclaiming, 
The man must certainly have felt himself very sore 
pressed indeed to have been induced to resort to a step 
so utterly disgraceful to his character ! . . . . Anyhow, 
since certain persons have adopted this course, I do 
but plead for consistency. Only let them be sure 
that they apply this precious method of Interpretation 
to the History of England, and to everything their 
friend tells them : and let them not feel surprised if 
the same kind of ideological handling is bestowed 
upon everything they tell their friend. Idealize away, 
and be sure you stick at nothing ! Why be outdone 
in logical consistency by such an one as Strauss ? Let 
men also make their election whether Scripture shall 
be a lie or not. And when they have made up their 
minds, let them, in the Name of GOD, instead of 
dealing in unmanly insinuations, and dark hints, and 
shuffling equivocations, let them declare themselves 
plainly, that we may know at least with whom and 
with what we have to do. For while false Brethren 
are thus playing fast and loose with Eevelation, they 
are trifling with the faith of thousands, and im- 
perilling other immortal souls besides their own. 


But I shall be reminded that the subject-matter of 
daily life, and of the Everlasting Gospel, is very dif- 
ferent: and that the marvellous character of certain 
events recorded in the Bible constrains us to relegate 
those events to a distinct region. A child's plea, 
which was effectually disposed of upwards of a century 
ago ! What does it amount to but this, that what 
is supernatural, or even highly extraordinary, must 
be also untrue ? . . . "When, however, the argument is 
shifted, and is made an appeal a d misericordiam : 
when I am entreated to remember that though / be- 
lieve in the Eesurrection of CHRIST from Death, the 
same event is a " stumbling block " to many ; and 
that I am " bound to treat with tenderness those who 
prefer to lean on the other, and, as they think, more 
secure foundation z ;" (viz. on the hypothesis that the 
Eesurrection of the Son of Man is all a fable ;) I say, 
when I am so addressed, really, friends and Brethren, 
I am constrained to cry out that there is a limit be- 
yond which Nature cannot endure; and that that 
limit has now been overstepped. Will men try to 
persuade us that the idea of our LORD'S Eesurrection 
is a more secure basis for the Church's faith than the 
fact of our LORD'S Eesurrection ? Why, they might 
as well try to convince the world that a broken reed 
is a better support than an oaken staff; or that a 
handful of waste paper is of more value than the title- 
deeds of an estate. How can a shadow, how can 
what is confessedly an imagination, be, in any sense, 
or for anybody, a "secure foundation;" or indeed, 
any foundation at all ? how, above all, can a fancy be 
a "more secure foundation" than a fact? .... Not 

* Edinburgh Review, (art. on ' Essays and Reviews,') April 1861, 
p. 487. 


only will I not treat men with tenderness who put 
forth such blasphemous folly, (men who, in their 
rashness, their recklessness, their arrogance, shew no 
manner of tenderness or consideration for others !) 
but I will hold them up to ridicule, to the very utmost 
of my power. Nay, I would make them objects of 
unqualified reprobation to all, if I could, as they de- 
serve to be reprobated ; for they are the worst ene- 
mies of the Gospel of CHRIST*. "If CHRIST be not 
risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is 
vain also b /" " The Apostle rests the truth of the Chris- 
tian Religion on the fact that CHRIST was risen 

The whole system turns upon this central point ; the 
several doctrines gather round it, they depend upon 
it, they grow out of it; so that without it, Chris- 
tianity would have no coherence or meaning V 

You and I know very well "that nothing could 
more effectually shake the whole fabric of Eevealed 
Eeligion, than thus converting its history into fable, 
and its realities into fiction. For if the narratives most 
usually selected for the purpose may thus be explained 
away; what part of the Sacred History will be se- 
cure against similar treatment ? Nay, what doctrines, 
even those the most essential to Christianity, might 
not thus be undermined ? For are not those doctrines 

a I have softened the expression originally employed in this 
place, out of deference to the opinions of some wise and good men. 
But I do not think that St. John, (the Evangelist and Apostle of 
Dogma,) would have thought my language too strong : nor St. Paul 
either. Ei ns ov </>iXet, 

b 1 Cor. xv. 14. 

c Prom a Sermon by the pious and learned chaplain to the Eng- 
lish congregation at Rome, the Rev. F. B. Woodward, CHRIST 
risen the Foundation of the Faith, preached on Easter Day, 1861. 


dependent upon the facts recorded in Scripture for the 
evidence of their truth? Does not, for instance, the 
whole system of our Eedemption presuppose the reality 
of the Fall as an historical fact? And do not the 
proofs of the Divine authority of the whole, rest upon 
the verification of its Prophecies and Miracles, as 
events which have actually taken place? Allegory 
thus misapplied is therefore worse than frivolous or 
useless ; it strikes a deadly blow at the very vitals of 
the Christian Faith d ." Away then with that very 
questionable form of liberality, which makes most 
free with what belongs to GOD ! The truths of Eeve- 
lation are yours and mine, I grant you : but only so 
yours and mine that, to our eternal blessedness, we 
embrace, to our eternal loss, we let them slip ! We 
add to them, or we take away from them, under peril 
of GOD'S curse. . . . Away too with that mawkish sen- 
timentality which can find no better object for its 
sympathy than the hardened blasphemer, and the con- 
firmed sceptic ! My sympathy shall be reserved for 
those who have never so offended, but are, on the 
contrary, full of precious promise ; for the young 
and as yet inexperienced ; for you, who will have the 
battle of CHRIST and His Church to fight, when we 
shall be mouldering in the grave. Let those who do 
not know me, deem me uncharitable . if they will. I 
care not. The uncharitable man, mark me, Bre- 
thren ! the truly uncharitable man, is he, who shews 
no consideration for weak and unstable souls; who 
does not regard the trials and perils of the young ; 
who beguiles unsteady feet to the edge of the pre- 
cipice, and there forsakes them; whose destructive 

d Yan Mildert's Hampton Lectures for 1814, ("An Inquiry into 
the general principles of Scripture-Interpretation,") pp. 242-3. 


method, (for constructiveness is no part of that man's 
philosophy !) whose destructive method leaves the 
young without chart and compass, aye, without moon 
or stars to sail by ; who labours hard to communicate 
the taint of his own foul leprosy to those who were 
before unpolluted ; who dims the eye, and deadens the 
ear, and denies the thoughts, and darkens the hope 
of as many as have the misfortune to come in his 
way, and feels no pity ! Yes, yes ! The man who 
sows his own vile doubts broadcast over two conti- 
nents, doing his very best to destroy the faith of 
those for whom CHRIST died, he, he is the unchari- 
table man e ! Not he who, forsaking the flowery fields 
of the Gospel, (whither he would far, far rather lead 
you !) and foregoing the free mountain air of imperish- 
able Truth, for your sakes only keeps treading these 
dreary stifling paths of speculation \ a friend of yours, 
I mean, who with stammering eloquence, (the more's 
the pity !) clings thus to you, Sunday after Sunday, 
imploring you, with all a brother's earnestness, not to 
venture where to venture is to die ; and warning you 
against the men who have conspired against your life ; 
even while he labours hard to shew you what he 
knows to be "a more excellent way;" and implores 
you to come where CHRIST Himself hath promised 
that " ye shall find rest to your souls !" 

This is all there is time for, to-day. Let me, in 

e The reader is particularly requested to read what Dr. Moberly 
has said on this subject in Some Remarks on 'Essays and Reviews' 
being the Revised Preface to the Second Edition of ' Sermons on the 
Heatitudes,' p. xxii to p. xxv. The constructive value of the ' Re- 
marks ' of that excellent Divine will long outlive the occasion which 
has called them forth. I allude particularly to the considerations 
which occur from p. xxxii to p. Ixiii. 


the fewest possible words, gather up what has been 
spoken into a practical shape. 

Friends and brethren, (I am still addressing the 
younger men present !) Divinity is not debate ; and 
Eeligion is not controversy; and Life is not long 
enough for perpetual disputings. "He that cometh 
unto GOD must believe that He is." The heart dries 
up, and the affections wither away, and the soul 
faints, amid an atmosphere of cloudy doubts, and 
captious difficulties, and perverse disputations. You 
must rise above it, if you would discern the colours 
on the everlasting hills, and behold the beauty of the 
promised Land, and see objects as they really are. 
O put away from yourselves, (if any of you are so 
unhappy as to have acquired it,) a habit of mind 
which will effectually unfit you for profiting by what 
you read in Holy Scripture : and you, who are free 
from such dreadful bondage, beware lest, by the in- 
dulgence of some sin, whether of the flesh or of the 
spirit, you darken that spiritual eye by which alone 
spiritual things are to be discerned. It is like talking 
about colours to the blind, or about sounds to the 
deaf, to discuss with a certain class of persons the 
Inspiration, or the Interpretation, or the Marvels of 
Scripture. The Bible is, with them, a common book, 
"to be interpreted like any other book" Prophecy is 
denied, and Miracles are rejected or explained away, 
on the plea that they are alike incredible. These 
men lay claim to intellectual gifts above their fellows ; 
and know not that they are "wretched, and mise- 
rable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Eebels are 
they against the Most High; and find their exact 
image in those citizens who " sent a message after 
Him, saying, We will not have this Man to reign 


over us f ." The gist of all they deliver, is rebellion 
against GOD. 

But it is not so with yourselves, who have yet 
everything to learn in respect of Divine things. be- 
ware lest it ever become your own dreadful case ! 
Begin betimes to acquaint yourselves with the wealth 
of that celestial armoury which contains a weapon 
which must prove fatal to every foe ; but which it 
depends on yourselves whether you shall have the skill 
to wield or not. Suffer not yourselves to be cheated 
of your birthright, the Bible, either by the novel 
fictions of unstable men, or by the exploded heresies 
of a bygone age, revived and recommended by living 
unbelievers. You, especially, who aspire to the Minis- 
terial office, and are destined hereafter to undertake 
the cure of souls, do you be doubly watchful ! Give 
to the Bible the undivided homage of a childlike 
heart; and bow down before its revelations with 
a suppliant understanding also; and let no charac- 
teristic of its method by any means escape you. 
Notice how it is indeed all one long narrative, from 
end to end; and see therein GOD'S provision that 
nothing shall be idealized, nothing explained away. 
Learn too that Man is thus called upon to look out- 
ward, and to sustain himself by an external Law; not 
to depend on the promptings of his own conscience, 
and so to become a god unto himself. The Bible, 
I repeat, is all severest history, from the Alpha to the 
Omega of it. But then, underneath the surface there 
are meanings high as Heaven, deep as Hell : and why ? 
because the true Author of it is not Man, but GOD ! 

Let it quicken you in your desire to understand 
that Book out of which you will have hereafter to 

1 St. Luke xix. 14. 


preach, reprove, rebuke, exhort g , sometimes to be- 
think yourselves of the flocks which already are ex- 
pecting you ; and among which GOD already sees your 
future going out and coming in ; your faithful teach- 
ing, or (GoD forbid !) your betrayal of a most sacred 
trust. Acquaint yourselves in due time, by all means, 
with the scientific grounds on which the Bible is to 
be received as the Word of GOD : but of a truth, here- 
after, you will forget to require that external testi- 
mony ; for you will be convinced of its Divine origin, 
when you have become the adoring witnesses of its 
Divine power. Truly that must be from GOD which 
can so change the life and affect the heart ; which can 
sustain the spirit under bereavement, and become the 
soul's satisfying portion under every form of adver- 
sity ! It has already altered the aspect of the World ; 
and it has still a mighty work to do in India, and in 
China, and in Africa, and in the Islands of the Sea. 

Difficulties there are in Scripture, doubtless: but 
I should be far more perplexed by the absence of 
them, than I shall ever be by their presence. Nay, 
they are a chief source of joy to a rightly constituted 
mind; for they exercise the moral nature and the 
intellectual powers, in the noblest possible way. It 
is the office of the highest Intellect to know when to 
walk by Faith, and when ty sight: and when, to "ask 
for the old paths." It needs a mind of no common 
order fully to recognize the distinctive difference be- 
tween a system which comes from GOD; and one 
which has been elaborated by human Eeason: the 
latter progressive, the former incapable of progress ; 
the one liable to change, the other, unchangeable for 
ever. There are certain indelible characteristics of 

* 2 Tim. iv. 2. 


a Divine Kevelation, I say, which it is the office of 
the keenest wit to detect and hold fast, which it is 
a prime note of imbecility in a thoughtful man to 

overlook and let go The Bible in truth, as one 

grows older, (to me at least it seems so,) becomes 
almost the only thing in the world really deserving 
of a man's attention. Above Eeason, many things in 
it confessedly are : but against Eeason, I do not know 
of one. Meantime, is it not a glorious anticipation for 
you and for me, that to understand those hard things 
fully may be hereafter a part of our chiefest bliss? 
There is but a step between us and death h ; and as- 
suredly when we wake up after His likeness, we shall 
be satisfied with it l ! . . . Already " the shadows of the 
evening are stretched out k ." Be patient, my soul, 
" until the day break, and the shadows flee away 1 !" 

> 1 Sam. xx. 3. Ps. xvii. 16. 

k Jer. vi. 4. ] Song of S. ii. 17 : iv. 6. 




(p. 16.) 
[Bishop Horsley on the doubk sense of Prophecy.'} 

" I SHALL not wonder, if, to those who have not sifted this 
question to the bottom, (which few, I am persuaded, have 
done,) the evidence of a Providence, arising from prophecies 
of this sort a , should appear to be very slender, or none at 
all. Nor shall I scruple to confess, that time was when I 
was myself in this opinion, and was therefore much inclined 
to join with those who think that every prophecy, were it 
rightly understood, would be found to carry a precise and 
single meaning ; and that, wherever the double sense ap- 
pears, it is because the one true sense hath not yet been 
detected. I said, ' Either the images of the prophetic style 
have constant and proper relations to the events of the world, 
as the words of common speech have proper and constant 
meanings, or they have not. If they have, then it seems no 
less difficult to conceive that many events should be shadowed 
under the images of one and the same prophecy, than that 
several likenesses should be expressed in a single portrait. 
But, if the prophetic images have no such appropriate rela- 
tions to things, but that the same image may stand for many 
things, and various events be included in a single prediction, 
then it should seem that prophecy, thus indefinite in its 
meaning, can afford no proof of Providence : for it should 
seem possible, that a prophecy of this sort, by whatever" 
principle the world were governed, whether by Providence, 
Nature, or Necessity, might owe a seeming completion to 
mere accident.' And since it were absurd to suppose that 
the Holy Spirit of GOD should frame prophecies by which 
the end of Prophecy might so ill be answered, it seemed 
a just and fair conclusion, that no prophecy of holy writ 
might carry a double meaning. 

" Thus I reasoned, till a patient investigation of the sub- 
ject brought me, by GOD'S blessing, to a better mind. I 
stand clearly and unanswerably confuted, by the instance of 
Noah's prophecy concerning the family of Japheth ; which 
hath actually received various accomplishments, in events of 
various kinds, in various ages of the world, in the settle- 
ments of European and Tartarian conquerors in the Lower 

Gen. ix. 25-7. 


258 Bishop Horsley on the double sense. [APP. 

Asia ; in the settlements of European traders on the coasts 
of India ; and in the early and plentiful conversion of the 
families of Japheth's stock to the faith of CHRIST. The ap- 
plication of the prophecy to any one of these events bears all 
the characteristics of a true interpretation, consistence with 
the terms of the prophecy, consistence with the truth of his- 
tory, consistence with the prophetic system. Every one of 
these events must therefore pass, with every believer, for 
a true completion." 

BP. HORSLEY'S Sermons, No. xvii. Yol. ii. pp. 73-4. 


(p. 50.) 
\_Bishop Pearson on Theological Science.~] 

"Ao publicam Theologize professionem electus et consti- 
tutus sum ; cujus cum praestantiam dignitatemque considero, 
incredibili quadam dulcedine perfundit mirificeque delectat ; 
cum amplitudinem difficultatemque contemplor, perstringit 
oculos, percellit animum, abigit longe atque deterret. 

"Cum Artes omnes Scientiaeque Athenis diu floruissent, 
cum novam sedem Alexandriae occuparent, cum ingenia 
Romana toto terrarum orbe personarent, etiam turn dixit 
CHRISTUS ad Apostolos, Vos estis lux mundi. Omnes alias 
Scientiao, etiam cum maxime clarescerent, tenebris sunt in- 
volutse, et quasi nocte quadam sepultae. Turn sol oritur, turn 
primum lumine perfundimur, cum DEI cognitione illustra- 
mur ; radii lucis non nisi de co3lo feriunt oculos ; caetera, 
quae artes aut scientiae nominantur, non Athenae sed noctuae. 
Quid enim? nonne animis immortalibus praediti sumus, et 
ad aeternitatem natis ? Qua3 autem Philosophiae pars per- 
petuitatem spirat ? Quid Astronomicis observationibus net, 
cum coeli ipsi colliquescent ? Ubi se ostendet corporis hu- 
mani peritus, et medicaminum scientia prseclarus, cum cor- 
ruptio induet incorruptionem ? Quae Musicae, quae Ehetoricae 
vires, cum Angelorum choro et Archangelorum coatibus 
inseremur ? Si nihil animus praesentiret in posterum, e 
coaevis sibi scientiis aliquid solatii carpere fas esset, secumque 
perituris delectari : sed in hoc tarn exiguo vitae curriculo, et 
tarn brevi, quid est, tarn cito periturum, quod impleret ani- 
mum, in infinita saeculorum spatia duraturum ? Sola Theo- 
logise principia, aeternae felicitatis certissima expectatione 

B.] Bishop Pearson on Theological Science. 259 

foeta, aurae divinae particulam, coelestis suao originis consciam, 
et sempiternse beatitudinis candidatum, satiare possunt. 

" Cactera Scientiae exiguum aliquid de mundi opifice deli- 
bant, norunt ; base, aquilae invecta pennis, coeli penetralia 
perrumpit, in ipsum Patrem luminum oculos intendit, et 
audaci veritate promittit, DEUM nobis aliquando videndum 
sicut et nos videbimur. 

" Quantum igitur moli corporis [anima materiae expers,] 
quantum operosae conjecturae divina visio, quantum brevi 
temporis spatio seternitas, quantum Parnasso Paradisus, tan- 
turn reliquis disciplinis Theologia praeferenda est. 

" Sed hanc severam rebus humanis necessitatem imposuit 
DEUS, ut quse pulcherrima sunt, sint et dimcillima. Si Sa~ 
crarum Literarum copiam, si studiorum theologicorum am- 
plitudinem prospicias, crederes promissionem divinam, sicut 
EcclesiaD, ita doctrinaB terminos nullos posuisse. 

" Scriptura ipsa, quam copiosa, quam intellectu difficilis ! 
historiae quam intricatae ! prophetiae quam obscurae ! prse- 
cepta quam multa ! promissiones quam variae ! mysteria 
quam involuta ! interpretes quam infiiiiti ! Linguae, quibus 
exarata est, et nobis, et toti orbi terrarum peregrinse. Tres in 
titulo crucis consecrates sunt ; satis illse erant, cum CHRISTUS 
moreretur ; sed pluribus nobis opus est ut intelligatur. Latina 
parum subsidii praebet, originibus exclusa. Graecae magna 
est utilitas, nee tainen ilia, si pura, multum valet ; nam 
aliam priorem semper aut reddit, aut imitatur. Hebraea 
satis per se obscura, nee plene intelligenda, sine suis con- 
terraneis, Chaldaica, Arabica, Syriaca. Non est theologus, 
nisi qui et Mithridates ! 

" Jam haec ipsa oracula Ecclesiae DEI sunt commendata, ad 
illam a CHRISTO ipso amandamur ; ilia testis, ilia columna 
veritatis. Nee est unius aut aevi, aut regionis, Ecclesia DEI : 
per totum terrarum orbem, quo disseminata, sequenda est ; 
per Orientis vastissima spatia, per Occidentis regna diversis- 
sima : antiquissimorum Patrum sententise percipiendae, quo- 
rum libri pene innumeri prodierunt, et nova tamen monu- 
menta indies e tenebris eruuntur. 

" Quid dicam Synodos, diversarum provinciarum foetus ? 
quid Concilia, e toto orbe coacta, et suprema auctoritate prae- 
dita ? quid canonum decretorumque infinitam multitudinem ? 
quorum sola notitia insignem scientiam professionemque con- 
stituit ; et tamen Theologiae nostrae quantula particula est ? 

" Quot baereses in Ecclesia pullularunt, quarum nomina, 
natura, origines detegendse : quaB schismata inconsutilem 
CHRISTI tunicam lacerarunt; quo furore excitata, quibus 
modis suppressa, quibus machinis sublata ! 


260 Bishop Butler on the Bilk, as [APP. 

"Jam vero, scholasticorum qusestiones, quam innumera ! 
Ad haec omnia subtiliter disserenda, acute disputanda, 
graviter determinanda, quanta Philosophise, quanta Dialec- 
ticae necessitas ! quse leges disputandi, quae sophismatum 
strophae detegendae ! 

"Haec sunt quse me a professione deterrent, hsec quaa 
exclamare ogunt, ris irpbs ravra iicavos ;" 

BP. PEARSON'S Oratio Inaugurate, ' Minor "Works/ 
(ed. Churton,) vol. i. pp. 402-5. 



[ The Bible an instrument of Man' s probation.] 

" MTJLTA enim propter exercendas rationales mentes figurata 
et obscure posita." Aug. De Unit. Eccl. c. v. " Obscuritates 
Divinarum Scripturarum quas exercitationis nostrce causa DEUS 
esse voluit." Id. Ep. lix. ad Paulimtm, torn. ii. p. 117. 

"The evidence of Religion not appearing obvious, may 
constitute one particular part of some men's trial, in the 
religious sense : as it gives scope, for a virtuous exercise, or 
vicious neglect of their understanding, in examining or not 
examining into that evidence. There seems no possible rea- 
son to be given, why we may not be in a state of moral pro- 
bation, with regard to the exercise of our understanding 
upon the subject of Religion, as we are with regard to our 
behaviour in common affairs. The former is as much a 

thing within our power and choice as the latter." 

* * * * 

" Nor does there appear any absurdity in supposing, that 
the speculative difficulties, in which the evidence of Religion 
is involved, may make even the principal part of some per- 
sons' trial. For as the chief temptations of the generality of 
the world are the ordinary motives to injustice or unre- 
strained pleasure ; or to live in the neglect of Religion from 
that frame of mind, which renders many persons almost 
without feeling as to any thing distant, or which is not the 
object of their senses : so there are other persons without this 
shallowness of temper, persons of a deeper sense as to what 
is invisible and future ; who not only see, but have a general 
practical feeling, that what is to come will be present, and 
that things are not less real for their not being the objects 
of sense; and who, from their natural constitution of body 

c.] an instrument of Man's probation. * 261 

and of temper, and from their external condition, may have 
small temptations to behave ill, small difficulty in behaving 
well, in the common course of life. Now when these latter 
persons have a distinct full conviction of the truth of Re- 
ligion, without any possible doubts or difficulties, the practice 
of it is to them unavoidable, unless they will do a constant 
violence to their own minds ; and religion is scarce any more 
a discipline to them, than it is to creatures in a state of per- 
fection. Yet these persons may possibly stand in need of 
moral discipline and exercise in a higher degree, than they 
would have by such an easy practice of religion. Or it may 
be requisite for reasons unknown to us, that they should give 
some further manifestation what is their moral character, to 
the creation of GOD, than such a practice of it would be. 
Thus in the great variety of religious situations in which 
men are placed, what constitutes, what chiefly and pecu- 
liarly constitutes, the probation, in all senses, of some per- 
sons, may be the difficulties in which the evidence of religion 
is involved : and their principal and distinguished trial may 
be, how they will behave under and with respect to these 
difficulties/' BISHOP BUTLER'S Analogy, P. n. ch. vi. (ed. 
1833,) p. 266. and pp. 274-5. 

Further on, (p. 277,) Butler has the following note : 
"Dan. xii. 10. See also Is. xxix. 13, 14: St.Matth. vi. 
23, and xi. 25, and xiii. 11, 12. St. John iii. 19, and v. 44: 
1 Cor. ii. 14, and 2 Cor. iv. 4 : 2 Tim. iii. 13 ; and that 
affectionate as well as authoritative admonition, so very many 
times inculcated, ' He that hath ears to hear let him hear/ 
Grotius saw so strongly the thing intended in these and 
other passages of Scripture of the like sense, as to say, that 
the proof given us of Christianity was less than it might 
have been for this very purpose : ' Ut ita sermo Evangelii 
tanquam lapis esset Lydius ad quern ingenia sanabilia ex- 
plorarentur.' (De Verit. R. C. lib. ii. towards the end.)" 


(p. 72.) 
[St. Stephen's Statement in Acts vii. 15, 16, explained.'} 

IN a work like the present which purports to deal solely 
with the grander features of INSPIRATION and INTERPRE- 
TATION, it is clearly impossible to enter systematically into 

262 Explanation of St. Stephen's [APP. 

details of any kind. If, here and there, something like 
minuteness has been attempted b , it has only been by way 
of sample of what one would fain have done, of what one 
would fain do, time and place and occasion serving. In 
the same spirit I will add a few remarks on the famous pas- 
sage in Acts vii. 15, 16 ; for, confessedly, to a common eye 
it seems to contain several erroneous statements. The words, 
as they stand in our English Bible, are these : 

" So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our 
Fathers; and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in 
the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of 
the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem." 

For obvious reasons, it will be convenient to have under 
our eyes, at the same time, the original of the passage : 

Karefir) Se 'JWa>/3 et9 AlyvTrTov, /cal ereXevrrjcrev auro? KOI 
01 irarepes fjfjbwv* KOI /jLerereOrja-av e/9 -f%e//,, /cal eredrjaav ev 
TOO /jLvr/fjiaTi o Gwrfcraro 'A/Bpaafji, TI/JLVJS apyvptOV, Trapa TWV 
vlwv ^EfJifJiop rov 2v%efji. 

On this, Dr. Alford, Dean of Canterbury, delivers himself 
as follows : 

" There is certainly, and that not dependent upon any 
Rabbinical or Jewish views of the subject, an inaccuracy in 
Stephen's statement : for the burying-place was not at 
Sychem which Abraham bought, but at Hebron, and it was 
bought of Ephron the Hittite, as you will find in the 23rd 
of Genesis from the 7th to the 20th verses. It is not worth 
while for us now to read the account, but so it is : Abraham 
bought a field at Hebron of Ephron the Hittite. There is 
no mention at all made of its being for a burying-place. 
But it was Jacob who bought a field near Shechem ' of the 
children of Ham or, Shechem's father.' These two incidents, 
then, in this case are confused together. And again I say, 
if it is necessary to say it again, that there is no reason at 
all for us to be ashamed of such a statement no reason for 
us to be afraid of it, or in any way staggered at it. It was 
not Stephen's purpose to give an accurate history of the 
children of Israel, but to derive results from that history, 
which remain irrefragable, whatever the details which he 
alleged." Homilies on the former part of the Acts of the 
Apostles, by Henry Alford, B.D., Dean of Canterburv, 
London, 1858, p. 219. 

A northern Professor, (Patrick Fairbairn, D.D., Principal 

b As in the case of the healing of the two blind men at Jericho, (p. 67.) : 
' Jeremy the Prophet,' (p. 70.) : the type of Melchizedek, (pp. 152-6.) : a pas- 
sage in Deut. xxx. (pp. 191-5.) : the conduct of Jael, (pp. 223230.) : &c., &c. 

D.] statement in Acts vii. 15, 16. 263 

and Professor of Divinity in the Free Church College, 
Glasgow,) also writes as follows : 

"Now, there can be no doubt, that viewing the matter 
critically and historically, there are inaccuracies in this state- 
ment ; for we know from the records of Old Testament his- 
tory, that Jacob's body was not laid in a sepulchre at Sychem, 
but in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron; we know also 
that the field, which was bought of the sons of Emmor, or 
the children of Hamor (as they are called in Gen. xxxiii. 19), 
the father of Sichem, was bought, not by Abraham, but by 
Jacob/' Hermeneutical Manual, or Introduction to the Exe- 
getical Study of the Scriptures of the New Testament, &c. 
Edinburgh, 1858, p. 101. 

Now when it is considered that the speaker here was 
St. Stephen, a man who is said to have been "full of the 
HOLY GHOST," so that " no one could resist the wisdom and 
the spirit by which he spake," (Acts vi. 3, 5, 8, 10.) there 
is evidently the greatest primd facie unreasonableness in so 
handling his words. But let the adverse criticism be sub- 
mitted to the test of a searching analysis; and how trans- 
parently fallacious is it found to be ! 

First, we have to ascertain the meaning of the passage. 
And it is evident to every one having an ordinary ac- 
quaintance with Greek, that the words 'E/j,fj,bp rov Sv^e^ 
cannot mean "Emmor the father of Sychem." This is a mere 
mistranslation, as the invariable usage of the New Testament 
shews. The genitive denotes dependent relation. The Vul- 
gate rightly supplies the word " filii ;" and there can be no 
doubt whatever that what St. Stephen says, is, that Abraham 
bought the burial-place "of the sons of Emmor, the son 
of Sychem." 

Next, it is evident that " our Fathers/' (ol irarepes rj^wv,) 
exclusive of Jacob, form the nominative to the verb " were 
carried over" (perereOrjaav.) In English, the place ought 
to be exhibited as follows : " he and our Fathers ; and they 
were carried." But, in truth, the idiom of the original is so 
easy, to one familiar with the manner of the sacred writers c ; 
and the historical fact so exceedingly obvious ; that it must 
have been felt by St. Luke, in recording St. Stephen's words, 
that greater minuteness of statement was quite needless. 
Who remembers not the affecting details of where Jacob was 

c The nominative has, in like manner, to be supplied in the following 
places: Gen. xlviii. 10. Exod. iv. 26: xxxiv. 28. Deut. xxxi. 23. 2 Sam. 
xxiv. 1. 1 Kings xxii. 19. 2 Kings xix. 24, 25. Job xxxv. 15. Jer. xxxvi. 23. 
St. Matth. xix. 5. St. Mark xv. 46. St. John viii. 44 : xix. 5 : xxi. 1517. 
Acts xiii. 29. Eph. iv. 8. Col. ii. 14, &c., &c. 

264 The statement in Acts vii. 15, 16. [APP. 

to be buried, as well as the circumstantial narrative of whi- 
ther his sons conveyed his bones d ? Who remembers not also 
that the bones of Joseph, (and, as we learn from this place, 
the rest with him,) were carried up out of Egypt by the 
children of Israel, at the Exode e ? 

Where then is the supposed difficulty ? Moses relates (in 
Gen. xxiii.) that Abraham bought of Ephron the Hittite, 
the son of Zohar, the field and the cave of Machpelah : and 
says that Machpelah was before Mamre, otherwise called 
Kirjath-Arba, and Hebron. St. Stephen further relates that 
Abraham bought the sepulchre at Sychem in which the 
Twelve Patriarchs were eventually buried, of the sons of 
Emmor, (or Hamor.) May not the same man buy two estates ? 

True enough it is that Jacob, when he came from Padan 
Aram, "bought a parcel of a field" at "Shalem a city of 
Shechem," " at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's 
father." But there is no pretence for saying that these last 
two transactions are identical, and have been here confused 
together : for the sellers, in the one case, were " the sons of 
Emmor, the son of Sychem ;" and in the other, " the chil- 
dren of Hamor," -father of that Shechem whose tragic end is 
related in Gen. xxxiv. : while the buyer was in the one case, 
Abraham ; in the other case, Jacob. Not to be tedious how- 
ever, let me in a few words, state what was the evident truth 
of the present History. 

It is found that Jacob, in order to build an altar at 
Shechem with security, judged it expedient to purchase the 
field whereon it should stand. Who can doubt that the 
purchase was a measure of necessity also ? If. at the present 
day, one desired to erect a church on some spot in India, 
where the value of land was fully ascertained f , and where 
there were many inhabitants %, how would it be possible to 
set about the work, with the remotest purpose of retaining 
possession, unless one first bought the ground on which the 
structure was to stand? I infer that when Abraham first 
halted at Sichem h , and built an altar there *, (the Canaanite 
being then in the land,) it is very likely that he bought the 
ground also. But when -St. Stephen informs me that the 
thing which /think only probable, was a matter of fact ; am 
I, (with Dean Alford,) to hesitate about believing him? 
Abraham then, in the first instance, bought Sichem, She- 
chem, or Sychar ; and there built an altar. To that same 
spot, long after, his grandson Jacob resorted. What wonder, 

d Gen. xlix. 29-32 : 1. 513. e Ibid. 1. 25. Exod. xiii. 19. 

Josh. xxiv. 32. f Gen. xxiii. 15. * Ibid, xxiii. 10 to 12, 18. 

h Ibid. xiii. 7. * Ibid. xiii. 7. 

E.] Eden on Theories of Inspiration. 265 

since the wells of Abraham were stopped during his absence, 
and had to be recovered by his son, (as related in^ Gen. xxvi. 
17 22,) what wonder, I say, if Jacob, on coming to She- 
chem after an interval of nearly 200 years, finds that he also 
must renew the purchase of the cherished possession ? The 
importance of that locality, and the sacred interest attaching 
to it, has been explained in a Plain Commentary on the Gospels, 
on St. John iv. 1 6, and 41. See also a Sermon by the same 
author, One Soweth and another Reapeth. 


(p. 74.) 
[ The simplest view of Inspiration the truest and the best.~\ 

" I SUPPOSE all thoughtful persons will allow that intellec- 
tual licentiousness is the danger of this our intellectual age. 
For speculation indulges our pride. Faith is an inglorious 
thing ; any one can believe, a cottager just as well as a 
philosopher : but not all can speculate. The privilege of an. 
intellectually advanced person is that. And the more novel 
the view he offers, the more evident the proof it gives of an 
independent mind. Therefore the danger of a highly ad- 
vanced state of society like our own, is Theory, as distin- 
guished from Catholic Truth. And the most inviting field 
of theory, is that high subject, the intercourse which hath 
gone on between the Intellect above us, and our own ; the 
communications which have been made from the Creator to 
His creatures. In a word, man is under a temptation to 
frame a theory of Inspiration ; whether his attempts to frame 
one have been successful, is a matter of much interest to 

" I am going to offer a few plain remarks on what the 
Bible professes to be. I say, professes to be, because those 
whom I speak to will believe that what it professes to be, it 
is. I mean they will not suspect the writers of any dis- 
honesty or ambitious pretence. But there may be some 
readers of the Bible, among persons whose profession is the 
exercise of the intellect, who are impatient at being left be- 
hind in the intellectual race ; who, when continental critics 
are going on into theories of inspiration, do not like the im- 
putation (so freely cast upon us by foreign writers) of being 
unequal to such things, of having no turn for philosophy. 
So they must have a theory, or go along with one ; they 

266 Eden on Theories of Inspiration. [APP. 

must receive the Bible, for they do receive it, in some in- 
tellectual way ; through some lens which they hold up ; with 
a consciousness of some intellectual action in receiving it, 
something which not every one could practise, something 
beyond the mere simple apprehension of terms, and simple 
faith in embracing propositions. 

" But in striking contrast with all such views and all such 
desires, stands the singular character of the sacred volume 
itself. It manifestly addresses itself to a mind in an attitude 
of much simplicity ; to a mind coming to receive a theory, 
not to hold up one ; coming to be shaped, not holding out 
a mould to shape a communication made. For it presents 
itself as a document containing a message from on high ; as 
conveying the Word of GOD ; nor can all that is ever said on 
the subject get beyond this plain account of its contents, ' the 
Word of GOD.' Nor need any one who desires to impress on 
his own mind and that of others the true character of the 
sacred page, try to do more than to remind himself that it 
professes to convey to him the Word of GOD." Sermons by 
the Eev. C. P. Eden, pp. 148150. 

"What I desire to impress upon myself and those who 
hear me is this, that the words of GOD are always perfect, 
always complete ; and that the feeling with which a poor 
cottager sits down to his Bible is the right one, and that the 
student hath the best hope of successful study who in attitude 
of mind is most likened to him." Ibid., p. 192. 

" The conclusion, then, is this ; that Faith hath not been 
wrong through these many years, in her simple acceptance 
of GOD'S Word. To come round to simplicity, is what we 
have always had to do in the great questions of Divinity. 
There have been great questions ; they have agitated the 
Church ; but, as I said, to come round to simplicity hath ever 
been her work first or last. When in the fourth century 
men refined upon the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and 
Arians and semi-Arians would be telling us how these things 
could be, the unity of GOD in three Persons ; to come round 
to the simplicity of the Athanasian doctrine, and to disown 
the several explanatory statements which, offering to explain, 
explained away, was the Church's work. I am not sure that 
since the days of the Arian dispute, a more important ques- 
tion has arisen than that which seems likely to be ere long 
forcing itself upon us, of the Inspiration of Holy Writ. I 
freely permit myself to anticipate that the simplest possible 
view of the subject, that on which rich and poor may meet 
together, is the one to which we shall come round." Ibid., 
pp. 172-3. 

F.] Eden on the Written and the Incarnate Word. 267 

(p. 107.) 
\_The written and the Incarnate WordJ] 

" I SUPPOSE we all have learned from the language used 
by the Evangelist St. John, always to look on each of these 
two employments of the expression, (the WORD OF GOD,) 
with reference to the other ; and to see in each, the other 
also. I shall not attempt to express more definitely this con- 
nexion ; I only need to suppose that we all apprehend it as 
existing. But I shall claim from it thus much to my pre- 
sent purpose ; that as He whom the Evangelist saw riding 
in the heavenly pomp on high, and who was revealed to him 
as bearing this title, ' The WORD of GOD V was the same who 
rode as at this time into Jerusalem ; in humiliation here, in 

flory there ; here veiled, there in brightness unveiled : 
would now associate the two, and would regard that sacred 
volume which the poor cottager knows as the ' Word of GOD/ 
as placed under the same dispensation ; as veiled here, re- 
served for Revelation hereafter. I say, as all the other cir- 
cumstances of our condition are certainly to be regarded in 
this aspect, viz., as things waiting for development ; so 
ordered by a Divine wisdom as that they shall sustain faith 
and instruct piety now, but shall shew themselves for what 
they are, (if ever to a created being, yet) only in a later 
stage than that to which they were given as its present re- 
ligious provision : as other things, so the written page (I 
will assume) which speaks of GOD. I assume that in this 
world we are using sounds which mean more than we know. 
I assume that in our churches we are in the highest sense 
singing the songs of Sion, of the future and heavenly Sion. 
If Saints in Heaven shall sing (as we are told they shall) 
the song of Moses, then the song of Moses is already a song 
for Heaven ; only there we shall know its meaning, or more 
of it than now we do. And the use which I make of the re- 
flection is, to suggest (as I said) the frame of mind in which 
we should approach the consideration of the sacred page ; 
such a frame of mind as that no future revelations of the im- 
port of that page shall have power to reproach us as having 
dishonoured it by our interpretations here, and having be- 
trayed an inadequate feeling of what Inspiration was." 
Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 180-2. 

k Rev. xix. 13. 

268 The entire volume stands or falls altogether. [APP. 


(P- H2.) 

\_The volume of the Old Testament Scriptures, indivisible. ,] 

" IN regard of the Old Testament, it will be observed that 
the whole volume stands or falls altogether. In whatever 
sense we understand the falling or standing, the volume 
stands or falls together. Each page of it is committed to the 
credit of the rest, and the whole book or collection of books 
is committed to the credit of each page. For this plain rea- 
son, that the book as we have it, is the book which, being 
known in the Jewish Church as the volume of her authentic 
and sacred Scriptures, our blessed SAVIOUR accepted and re- 
ferred to as such. By whatever marks the canonicity of 
the several books was in the first instance attested, marks 
which were sufficient for GOD'S purpose, and which did His 
work, there is the volume. ' It is written/ said our SAVI- 
OUR ; that is, in a book which all His nation knew of, and 
understood to be inspired. The scrupulous care which the 
Jews shewed in preserving their sacred writings intact, is one 
of the most remarkable facts in history ; it is a fact of which 
the Christian student can give perhaps the right account, 
seeing it to have been so ordered in the good providence of 
GOD, that we might have firm ground in calling the book, as 
we have it, the Word of GOD. The volume stands or falls 
then together ; which we may with advantage bear in mind, 
because it makes an argument which is available for any 
portion of the volume, available for the whole ; and no one 
can now say, ' You do not surely hold the genealogies in the 
books of Chronicles, to be inspired : Isaiah and the Psalms 
may be inspired ; but do you mean the same of the long ex- 
tracts from mere annals ?' No man, I say, can take this 
freedom, until he can extract and remove those chapters 
from the book which our blessed SAVIOUR unquestionably re- 
ferred to as the canonical Scriptures of the Church. If 
a verse stands, the Old Testament stands." Sermons, by the 
Eev. C. P. Eden, pp. 152-3. 


(p. 115.) 

(Some remarks had been partially prepared for insertion 
in this place, on Theories of Inspiration : but my volume has 

G, H, i.] Eden on the ' Human Element.' 269 

already been delayed too long, and has extended to a greater 
length than was originally contemplated. The paper in 
question is therefore reserved for the present.) 


(p. 117.) 

[.Remarks on Theories of Inspiration. The 'Human 

" IT will be allowed by all persdhs accustomed to a calm 
and charitable view of Theological differences, that in those 
differences there is generally on each side some great truth 
wrongly held, because taken out of its due place, and wrongly 
set. Applying this topic to the subject before us, we are led 
to consider whether a mistake has not been made in bring- 
ing forward the Human Element of Inspiration, instead of 
permitting the eye to rest upon that which GOD presents to 
us, the Divine. The Human Element no doubt is there; 
no doubt our Maker acts through our faculties in every 
respect ; no doubt He is acting through laws when He seems 
to suspend laws ; and even in Miracles, employs the powers 
of Nature instead of thwarting them ; but then this is His 
machinery, which He has not explained to us. He presents 
Himself to us, acting sometimes supernaturally ; i. e. in a way 
above nature as we understand nature. He made the Sun 
to stand still for Joshua ; what refractive cloud came in and 
held the daylight that it should not go down is not made 
known to us; GOD said that it should stay, and it stayed; 
there was the miracle. To have set the Creation going 
two thousand years before in such a way and train that in 
that hour a cloud should rise to refract the sun's rays for 
a time, because in that hour the LORD'S armies would need 
the interference, the prolonging of the daylight, that was 
miracle enough. "We say not that GOD interrupts His own 
laws; nay, rather we believe that He hath them always in 
smooth and orderly operation. Similarly of Inspiration ; we 
know not the way in which GOD acts on human minds, the 
Spirit on the spirit ; for He hath not told us. But, as I said 
in the beginning, in an age like the present, where analysis 
of process is the work of men's minds, the way in which man 
is feeling his strength in every direction, it is not very un- 
natural that the operations of this philosophy should have 
been carried beyond their due line ; into the subject, namely, 

270 Rev. C. P. Eden on the Human [APP. 

of the secret communication between the Divine Spirit, and 
the spirit and apprehensions of Men, i.e. the Work of In- 
spiration. To accept the Bible as the word of GOD, just as 
a cottager or a child in a village school accepts it, is an 
inglorious thing. He whose intellect is his instrument, that 
which he is to work with, wishes to feel his intellect operating 
on any subject which he has to meet. He feels a desire, in 
apprehending a thing as done, to have as part of his appre- 
hension, a view of how it is done, more or less. It is natural 
to him to take what he feels to be an intelligent view of a 
subject. In accepting the Bible therefore as the Word of 
GOD, he must have a view as to how it is the Word of God ; 
the nature of the illapsB which the Spirit from on high 
makes on the spirit and faculties of the man. In a word, he 
would get between the Creator, and man to whom the Creator 
speaks ; and there would make his observations. But how 
little encouragement have we to do this in the Word of GOD ! 
When GOD sent prophets to speak to men, to convey a mes- 
sage to them from their Maker, or when He tells Apostles to 
speak to us, doth He invite us to come within the veil with 
our philosophy, and examine? I shall offend the piety of 
those who hear me by pursuing the thought. But I cannot 
but think that something of this kind has been done by 
those who have presented us with theories of Inspiration, 
setting forth to us that which it cannot be shewn that GOD 
hath set forth to them, or to any one. Yes, they are right ; 
our Creator makes use of our faculties ; and when He hath 
given to one man faculties different from those given to 
another, faculties of whatever kind, of intellectual power or 
of moral temperament, He employs them all. Hath He 
a message of Love ? He employs a St. John to utter it, and 
to prolong the delightful note. Hath He a message of free- 
dom, that liberty wherewith CHRIST hath made us free ? 
He hath a Paul ready to accept and to fulfil the congenial 
errand. But GOD speaks, not man; and they who would 
have us be dwelling on the Human Element, when GOD 
invites us to be lost in the Divine, are doing not well. Yes, 
GOD employs all our faculties : He hath made us different, 
as He made the flowers of the field different, and Christianity 
shews us why He hath so made us ; because He hath a work 
for each of us to do, a work which none else could do so 
well. Doubtless He employs all our faculties, doing violence 
to none. This doubtless is His glory, that He can bring 
about His results by the means which He Himself hath 
made. Who has not felt, in reading some sacred narrative, 
the history, e.g. of Joseph, that the wonderful part of it was 

i, j.] Element in Inspiration. 271 

this, how naturally all came about, all by natural operation 
of human motives and man's free will ? So in Inspiration. 
No doubt GOD'S instruments which He hath made are enough 
for His work ; no doubt He employs men as they are ; not 
their tongues only, but their minds and spirits, acting on 
them and employing them as they are. Only in that great 
process, the point which I call attention to is this, GOD 
speaks of it as divine, and fixes the thought of those who 
hear Him on the divine element : we, dropping our view on 
the human, are not wise. He shews us providence; He 
condescends to shew us His work : we do not well when 
we shew an interest rather in lower parts of the scheme, 
especially when in those we may so greatly err, having 
so little information." Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, 
pp. 164170. 


(p. 145.) 

\_How the Inspired authors of the New Testament handle the 
writings of the Inspired authors of the Old.] 

" LET me repeat : The question is, how we should address 
ourselves to the study of the sacred page? For example, 
how am I to regard, and how to deal with, the great diver- 
sities there are between the several sacred writers? For 
there is the greatest diversity of mind appearing between 
them. St. Paul is no more the same with St. John, than any 
two good men now are perfectly alike in their constitution 
of mind. Nay, the diversity seems especially great in the 
case of the sacred writers : as if to forbid us to adopt any 
theory which should ignore or neglect that diversity. It is 
striking. How shall I deal with these and like circum- 
stances ? . . . Can it be suggested to me what a good and 
wise man would do in this matter ? 

"In answer ; it can apparently be suggested; and through 
that which is the best and safest of arguments, the argument 
from analogy. For there has been a parallel case ; the case 
of the inspired writers of the New Testament dealing with the 
Scriptures of the Old. To this parallel I now invite your 
attention. If we can observe how and upon what great 
principles, piety and wisdom, guided by Inspiration, dealt 
with the volume of the Holy Scriptures which were then its 
whole volume, namely the Old Testament ; we have so far 

272 How inspired writers handle the Old Testament. [APP. 

forth a parallel case to the case of Christians now. The first 
Christians looked back on the Old Testament as their sacred 
Scriptures. If we can discern how they regarded their sacred 
volume, and how they proceeded in interpreting it, we have 
a pattern to guide us in regard of the question, how we shall 
regard the sacred volume, and how proceed in the study and 
interpretation of it ; they with the Bible that they had, 
we with the Bible that we have, the completed volume. In 
this point of view I cannot but regard it as most distinctly 
providential that there are introduced in the pages of the 
New Testament so many quotations from the pages of the 
Old. For they furnish us with an answer applicable in every 
age of the Church to the question, How shall piety and 
wisdom deal with a sacred volume ; that volume being from 
the pen of many writers ; but with this aggravated difficulty 
in the former case, that the writers there were widely sepa- 
rated from one another in point of time, were in contact 
therefore with most difficult forms of life and stages of 
society ? How in approaching a volume so originated, did 
the New Testament writers regard and deal with its con- 
tents?'' Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 183-5. 

"And it is impossible for us to imagine, I say the 
thoughtful reader of the Holy Scriptures will find it im- 
possible to imagine, an Evangelist or Apostle, evoking out 
of its grave the Human Element of the ancient prophetic 
communications ; disinterring it once more as if to gaze upon 
it. I am sure the impression left on the mind by the pas- 
sages in the New Testament where the Old is referred to, is 
in accordance with what I say. In other words, (for it is 
but in other words the same,) these divinely instructed 
students, these inspired readers of the sacred page, are 
aware of that which they read, being inspired; GOD its 
author, and not Man. And they shew this consciousness, 
putting off their shoes from their feet, as if on holy ground. 
A divinely instructed mind, interprets a divinely indited 
Scripture ; the Spirit His own interpreter ; and we are 
taught, not by man but by the Author of Inspiration, 
how Inspiration is to be dealt with. Let him who would 
deal aright with the sacred pages of the New Covenant, 
observe in due seriousness what instruction he may gain from 
the consideration now suggested to his thoughts. Let him 
learn from the sacred page, how to deal with the sacred 
page. And if he has observed these things ; if he has seen 
how the writers of the New Testament, discern in lines and 
words of the Old Testament, that which speaks to them, 
(for it speaks to CHRIST, and in Him to His Church, i.e. to 

j, K.] Bishop Bull on Dent. xxx. 273 

them :) .... how these utterers of inspired sounds are found, 
when their words receive at length an authentic interpreta- 
tion, to have been speaking of the Christian Church, its 
terms of Salvation, its spiritual gifts ; a reader of the Holy 
Scriptures practised in these observations will have learned 
in some measure how to approach the sacred volume ; with 
a sense not only of its unfathomed depth, but also of its 
unity of scope ; and a conscious interest rather in its universal 
truths, its ever present truths, than in those transitory 
imports which some of its pages can be shewn to have had, 
over and above their Evangelical meaning." (Ibid., pp. 


(p. 199.) 

[Bishop Bull on Deut. xxx.] 

" JAM hie etiam quaestionem unam et alteram solvendam 
exhibebimus. Quaeritur, A.n nullum omnino extet in lege Mosis 
SPIRITUS SANCTI promissum ? Resp. Legem, si per earn in- 
telligas pactum in monte Sinai factum, et mediatore Mose 
populo Israelitico datum, (quse, ut modo diximus, est maxime 
propria ac genuina ipsius in Paulinis Epistolis notio atque 
acceptio,) nullum Spiritus Sancti promissum continere, mani- 
festum est. Si, inquam, per earn intelligas pactum in Sinai 
factum ; quia in hagiogr aphis et Scriptis Propheticis, (quae 
nomine legis et Yeteris Test, laxius sumpto non raro ve- 
niunt,) de SPIRITU SANCTO, turn ex gratia Divina promisso, 
turn precibus hominum impetrato, passim legimus. Imo et 
in Mosaicis scriptis, licet non in ipso Mosaico foedere, pro- 
missum (ni fallor) satis clarum de gratia SPIRITUS SANCTI 
Israelitis a DEO danda reperire est. 

" Ejusmodi certe est illud Deut. xxx. 6 : ' Circumcidet 
JEHOVA-DEUS tuus animani tuam et animam seminis tui, 
ad diligendum Jehovam Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo/ &c. 
Etenim circumcisionem cordis, prsesertim ejusmodi qua ad 
DEUM toto corde diligendum homines prseparentur, non sine 
magna SPIRITUS SANCTI vi atque efficacia fieri posse, apud 
omnes, qui a Pelagio diversum sentiunt, in confesso est. 
Sed hoc etiam ad Evangelicam Justitiam pertinebat, quam 
sub cortice externorum rituum et ceremoniarum latitantem 
primum Moses ipse, dein prophetae alii, digito quasi com- 

274 Bishop Bull on Dent. xxx. [APP. 

monstrarunt. Justitia enim Fidei, quse in evangelic 7re<pa- 
vepwrai, olim erat VTTO rov vo^ov KOL roov Trpo^rjrwv jjiaprv- 
povfjuevr), ut diserte affirmat Apostolus. (Rom. iii. 21.) Dixi 
autem, exerte hanc SPIRITUS SANCTI pronrissionem in ipso 
Mosaico foedere non haberi. Addam aliquid amplius, par- 
tern earn fuisse Novi Testamenti, ab ipso Mose promulgati. 
Nam foodus cum Judseis sancitum, (Deut. xxix., et seq., in quo 
hsec verba reperiuntur,) plane diversum fuisse a foedere in 
monto Sinai facto, adeoque renovationem continuisse pacti 
cum Abrahamo initi, h. e. fcederis Evangelici turn temporis 
obscurius revelati, multis argumentis demonstrari potest. 
(1.) Diserte dicitur, (cap. xxix. 1.) verba, quee ibidem se- 
quuntur, fuisse ' verba feeder is quod DEUS prsecepit Mosi, ut 
pangeret cum Israeli tis, prceter fcedus illud, quod pepigerat cum 
illis in Chorebo.' Qui renovationem tantum hie iiitelligunt 
fcederis in monte Sinai facti, nugas agunt, quin et textus 
ipsius apertissimis verbis contradicunt. Neque enim verba 
fcederis in Sinai facti repetita ac renovata ullo sensu dici 
possunt verba foederis, quod DEUS sancivit prseter illud, quod 
in monte Sinai pepigerat. (2.) Diserte dicitur, hoc fcedus 
idem prorsus fuisse cum eo, quod DEUS juramento sancive- 
rat cum Israeli tici populi majoribus, Abrahamo puta, Isaaco 
et Jacobo, (ejusdem cap. ver. 12, 13,) quod fcedus ipsum 
Evangelicum fuit, obscurius revelatum, ipso apostolo Paulo 
interprete, Gal. iii. 16, 17. (3.) Nonnulla hujus federis 
verba citat Paulus, ut verba fcederis Evangelici, quae fidei 
justitiam manifesto prse se ferant. (Yide Rom. x. 6. et seq. 
Coll. Deut. xxx. 11, et seq.} Haudmefugit esse nonnullos, qui 
statuunt, hcee Mosis verba ab Apostolo ad fidei justitiam per 
allmionem tantum accommodari : sed fidem non faciunt, cum 
Paulus verba ista manifesto alleget ut ipsissima verba justitise 
fidei, h. e. fcederis Evangelici, in quo justitia ista revelatur. 
Atque, ut verum fatear, semper existimavi, allusiones istas (ad 
quas confugiunt quidam tahquam ad sacrum suce ignorantice 
asylum,} plerumque aliud nihil esse, quam sacrm Scriptural abu- 
siones manifestas. Sed non necesse erat, hoc saltern in loco, 
ut tali Kpr)o-(f)vyeT(*) uterentur. Nam, (4.) qusecunque in 
hoc fcedere continentur, in Evangelium mire quadrant, 
(i.) Quod ad praecepta attinet, praescribuntur hie ea tantum, 
quse ad mores pertinent, et per se honesta sunt ; illorum 
rituum, qui, si verba spectes, pueriles videri possent, quo- 
rumque totum fcedus legale fere plenum est, nulla facta men- 
tion e. Addas, totam illam obedientiam, quae hie requiritur, 
ad sincerum sedulumque studium Deo in omnibus obediendi 
referri. (Vid. cap. xxx., 10, 16, 20.) (ii.) Ad promissa quod 
spectat, plenam hie omnium peccatorum, etiam gravissi- 

K.] Bishop Bull on Deut. xxx. 275 

morum, remissionem post peractam poenitentiam repromittit 
DEUS ; (cap. xxx., 1 4.) quae gratia in foedere legali nus- 
piam concessa est, ut supra fusius ostendimus. Deinde, 
gratia SPIRITUS SANCTI, qua corda hominum circumcidantur, 
ut JEHOVAM diligant ex toto corde atque ex tota anima, hoc 
in loco, de quo agimus, (nempe praedicti capitis ver 6.) clare 
promittitur. Hui ! quam procul ab usitata Mosaicorum 
scriptorum vena ! . . . . (5.) Frcdus illud, de quo praedixit 
Jeremias, (xxxi. 31. ct seq.) foedus esse Evangelicum, negavit 
Christianus nemo ; cum Divinus auctor Epistolse ad Hebrseos 
idipsum expresse doceat, (viii. 8, et seq.) Jam quae de pacto 
isto praenuntiat propheta, omnia huic foederi Moabitico ad 
amussim respondent. Appellat suum foedus Jeremias ' foedus 
novum ; ab eo, quod cum majoribus populi Israelitici JEgypto 
exeuntibus pepigerat DEUS, omnino diversum/ Idem etiam 
de Moabitico foedere dicit Moses. Causam reddit Jeremias 
cur novum DEUS pactum, Sinaiticum aboliturus, molitus 
fuerit ; nempe, quod Israelites, praepotentiore gratia desti- 
tuti, Sinaiticum illud irritum fecissent, prseceptis ejusdem 
non obtemperando, (ver. 32.) Eandem causam et Moses 
manifesto designat ; ' Nondum/ inquit, ' dederat vobis JE- 
HOVA mentem ad cognoscendum, et oculos ad videndum, et 
aures ad audiendum, usque ad diem hunc:' (Deut. xxix. 4.) 
h. d. Pactum prius vobiscum pepigerat DEUS, in quo volunta- 
tem suam prseceptis, turn promissis turn minis, turn denique 
miraculis omne genus satis superque communitis, vobis ipsis 
patefecerat. Sed vidit fcedus illud parum vobis profuisse ; 
vidit vobis opus esse efficaciore adbuc gratia, qua nempe 
corda vestra circumcidantur, &c. ideoque novum foedus medi- 
tatur, in quo gratiam illam efficacissimam vobis adstipula- 
turus sit. Eandem autem cordis circumcisionem procul du- 
bio designant verba Jeremise, v. 33, prsed, cap. ; ' Indam legem 
meam menti eorum, et cordi eorum inscribam earn/ Porro 
remissio ista omnium peccatorum, quae poanitentibus promit- 
titur a Mose, (Deut. xxx. 1. et seq.) a Jeremia etiam clare 
exprimitur praedicti cap. ver 34. f Ero propitius iniquitatibus 
eorum, et peccatorum ipsorum et transgressionum ipsorum 
non recordabor amplius.' Denique Jeremias claritatem os- 
tendit adeoque facilitatem praeceptorum, quse in novo suo 
foadere continebantur, ob quam Dei populo non opus esset 
laboriosa disquisitione, aut exactiori disciplina, ut praecepta 
istius foederis cognoscerent implerentque, (Ejusdem capitis, 
ver. 34.) Idem Mosen quoque voluisse manifestum erit, (si 
verba ejus Deut. xxx. 11, et seq. cum iis, quae Apostolus ad 
eundern locum disserit Rom. x. 6, et seq. accuratius perpend- 
eris.) Mihi certe clara videntur omnia. (6.) Ac postremo, 

276 Bishop Bull on Deut. xxx. [APP. 

ut res hgec tota extra omnem controversies aleam ponatur, ipsi 
Hebrceorum magistri ea, qnce Dent. xxix. et deinceps continentur, 
ad Messice tempus omnino referenda cenmerunt. Testem advoco 
fide dignissimum P. Fagium, qui (ad Deut. xxx. 11,) hsec 
annotat ; * Diligentur observandum est, ex consensu He- 
braeorum caput hoc ad regnum Christi pertinere. Unde 
etiam Bachai dicit, hoc loco promissionem esse, quod sub 
Rege Messiah omnibus, qui de fcedere sunt, circumcisio 
cordis contingat, citans Joelem, ii. 28. * Fagio consentit 
Grotius in ejusdem capitis ver. 6. 

" In his ideo prolixius immorati sumus, turn, ut vel hinc 
manifestum fieret, omnia, quse in Mosaicis scriptis conti- 
nentur, ad foedus Mosaicum, proprie sic dictum, nequaquam 
pertinere ; adeoque quam vera ac prorsus necessaria sit dis- 
tinctio Augustini, (de qua aliquoties jam dictum est,) legem 
veterem icvpicos sumptam ad solum pactum in monte Sinai 
factum restringentis ; turn imprimis ut exinde etiam clare 
eluceret optima ac sapientissima DEI olrcovopia, quam in 
dispensando gratise suse fbedere usurpare visum ipsi fuerit. 
Pepigerat DEUS cum Abrahamo foedus illud gratiosum multis 
ante latam legem annis ; cui postea placuit ipsi superaddere 
pactum aliud, multis, iisque operosis, ritibus ac ceremoniis 
conflatum, quibus rudem et carnalem Abrahami posteritatem, 
recens ex ^Egypto eductam, adeoque paganicis ritibus ac 
superstitionibus nimis addictam, in officio contineret, i.e. ab 
ethnicorum idololatrico cultu arceret. Quod optime expressit 
Tertullianus (adversus Marcion. 2.) his verbis : ' Sacrificiorum 
onera, et operationum et oblationum negotiosas scrupulosi- 
tates nemo reprehendat, quasi DEUS talia proprie sibi deside- 
raverit, qui tarn manifeste exclamat, " Quo mini multitudinem 
sacrificiorum vestrorum ?" et, " Quis exquisivit ista de mani- 
bus vestris ?" sed illam DEI industriam sentiat, qua populum 
pronum in idololatriam et transgress! onem ejusmodi ofiiciis 
religioni suae voluit adstringere, quibus superstitio sseculi 
agebatur, ut ab ea avocaret illos, sibi jubens fieri quasi desi- 
deranti, ne simulacris faciendis delinqueret.' (Conf. Gal. iii. 
19.) Sed praevidens sapientissimus DEUS, fore, ut hoc ipsius 
propositum populus obtusi pectoris non intelligent, post 
latam istam carnalem legem, prsecepit Mosi, ut Israelitis 
novum foedus promulgaret, seu potius ut vetus illud, cum 
Abrahamo ante multos annos initum, (quod spiritualem im- 
primis justitiam exigebat, et gratia ac misericordia plenum 
erat,) renovaret : ut hinc tandem cognoscerent Judsei, pac- 
tum Abrahamiticuin etiam post latam legem ritualem adhuc 
viguisse, adeoque pro fcedere habendum f'uisse, cui unice salus 
ipsorum inniteretur. (Conf. Gal. iii. 17.) .... Quis hie cum 

K, L.] Opinions concerning Accommodation. 277 

Apostolo non exclamet, T /2 {3d6os TT\OVTOV /cal o-ofyias KOI 
<yvo)<T(i)s &eov ! (Rom. xi. 33.) Sed hsec obiter, etsi haud- 
quaquam frustra. Pergo." From Bp. Bull's Harmonia 
Apostolica, cap. xi., sect. 3. Works, vol. iii. pp. 197-201. 


(p. 218.) 

[Opinions of Commentators concerning Accommodation. ,] 

CORNELIUS a Lapide, on this place, writes as follows : 
" Licet Cajetanus, Adamus, Pererius, Toletus, putent Mosem 
ad litteram loqui de Christo et Christi justitia, referunt enim 
hsec ejus verba ad poenitentiam, de qua eodem capite egerat 
Moses, ver. 1 ; (Poenitentia enim et dilectio Dei, ac conse- 
quenter peccatorum venia, ipsaque justitia sine fide Christi 
haberi non potest ;) tamen longe planius est, ut non litteralitcr, 
sed alkgorice tantum alludat Apostohis ad Mosem. Moses enim 
ad litteram, sive in sensu litterati loquitur, non de Christo ejus- 
que EvangeUo, sed de lege data Judais, ut patet eum intuenti. 
Ita Chrysostomus, Theodoretus, Theophylactus, (Ecumenius, 

Abulensis, Soto Haec, inquam verba, Mosem ad suos 

Judseos literaliter loqui plane certum, evidens, et manifestum 
est ; ita tamen ut eadem hsec ejus verba allegorice EvangeUo 
ejusque catechumenis etfidelibus optime conveniant. .ZEque enim, 
imo magis, ad manum est omnibus jam Evangelium et fides 
Christi, quam olim fuerit lex Mosis : ita ut fidem hanc omnes 
facillime corde, id est mente, complecti : et ore proloqui, ita- 
que justificari et salvari possint." 

Our own learned Hammond writes as follows : " The two 
phrases of ' going up into Heaven/ or ' descending into the 
deep/ are proverbial phrases to signify the doing or at- 
tempting to do some hard, impossible thing .... These 
phrases had been of old used by Moses in this sense, Deut. 
xxx. 12." [And then, the place follows.] "Which words 
being used by Moses to express the easiness and readiness of 
the way which the Jews had to know their duty and to per- 
form it, are here by the Apostle accommodated to express the 
easiness of the Gospel condition, above that of the Mosaical 
Law." So far Dr. Hammond; whose notion that there was 
any accommodation here, I altogether deny. As for his 
belief that the paraphrase in the Targum of Jerusalem, 
["Utinam esset nobis aliquis Propheta, Jonae similis, qui in 

278 Opinions concerning Accommodation. [APP. 

profundum maris magni descenderet/'] is the "ground of 
St. Paul's application" of the place to the Death and Resur- 
rection of Christ, I can but feel surprised to find such a view 
advocated by so learned a man, and so excellent a Divine. 
But it is not Hammond's way to write thus. In his " Prac- 
tical Catechism/' he often expounds similar Scripture, (e.g. 
St. Luke i. 72-5,) after a very lofty fashion. 

Again: "Hunc locum accommodavit ad causam suam 
B. Paulus, Rom. x. Nam cum proprie hie locus pertineat 
ad Decalogum, transfertur eleganter et erudite a Paulo ad 
fidem quse os requirit ut promulgetur, et cor ut corde cre- 
damus." Fagius, ad Deut. xxx. 11, apud Criticos Sacros. 

Occasionally, however, we meet with a directly different 
gloss : 

"Locum hunc divinus Paulus divine de Evangelica prse- 
dicatione ac sermone fidei est interpretatus, tametsi sen sum 
magis, ut aequum est, quam textum ad verbum expresserit ; 
ut illius etiam alibi est mos. Satis enim fuit, atque adeo 
magis consentaneum viris Spiritu Dei plenis significare quid 
idem Spiritus in Scriptura intelligi vellet." Clavius, ad Deut. 
xxx. 14, apud Criticos Sacros. 

Concerning the general principle of Accommodation, (as 
explained above, p. 188,) the following passages present 
themselves as valuable. 

" Men have suggested that these things were accommoda- 
tions of the Sacred Writers ; and that the New Testament 
Writers, in the interpretations they gave of passages in the 
Old, meant to say, that the texts might be applied in such 
way as they applied them. But the suggestors of this view 
can hardly have considered carefully those conversations of 
our Blessed SAVIOUR with His disciples going to Emmaus ; 
and afterward in the evening of the same day, in which He 
distinctly reprehends them for their dulness of heart in not 
seeing in the pages of the Old Testament the predictions of 
His Death and of His Resurrection ; though, of His Resur- 
rection the intimations are, in those ancient Scriptures, to 
our view so scanty and obscure. He unfolds to them as they 
walk the reference of the Old Testament Scriptures to Him- 
self. Then in a later interview He resumes the instruction 
and * opens their understanding,' (it is said,) to discover 
the same ; the relation of the Old Testament Scriptures 
(namely) to Himself. He is a bold Commentator who having 
seen the Disciples thus instructed, having witnessed this 
scene, then, when he meets with these same Disciples' in- 
terpretations of the ancient Scriptures in relation to CHRIST, 
calls them ' Accommodations/ and gives them to a human 

L.] Opinions concerning Accommodation. 279 

original. But I ask leave to turn from this theory." 
Sermons by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 189190. 

" If we believe that the Apostles were inspired, then all 
idea of accommodation must be renounced ... The theory of 
Accommodation, i.e. of erroneous interpretation of the Scrip- 
ture, cannot be thought of without imputing error to the 
SPIRIT of Truth and Holiness; or to Him who sent the 
SPIRIT to recal to the minds of the Apostles all things which 
He had said to them, and to guide them into all Truth." 
From a Sermon by Dr. M'Caul, The Hope of the Gospel the 
Hope of the Old Testament Saints, (1854,) p. 8. 






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